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Sandoval sets records, SOU caps best regular season ever

CALDWELL, Idaho — Fourth-ranked Southern Oregon had a good answer Saturday for a question that popped up Friday for the first time in a couple years: How will the Raiders respond to a losing streak?

They made sure it was as brief as possible at Symms Field, ending the team’s best regular season ever on a high note with 3-0 and 15-5 wins over College of Idaho and rectifying the previous day’s sweep.

By taking Game 1 — the third and final Cascade Conference counter of the series — the Raiders (42-7 overall) kept the CCC title for themselves, finishing with a 24-3 circuit record to leave second-place Oregon Tech a game behind in the standings.

Junior Gabby Sandoval finalized her CCC pitcher of the year case with a four-hit gem that made her 27-3 overall, tying her own school record for wins in a season as well as matching the all-time conference mark.

It was also her 12th shutout, which broke Brandi Brown’s 17-year-old SOU standard and tied the CCC record.

The Raiders are the first team in six years to finish with fewer than four CCC losses. They’ll open next week’s CCC Championships in Ashland at 2 p.m. Friday, playing the winner of a game between fourth-seeded Corban and fifth-seeded Carroll (Mont.). During the regular season, SOU went 5-1 against Corban and 3-1 against Carroll but was unbeaten in six conference matchups.

College of Idaho (35-13, 20-7) will enter the tournament as the No. 3 seed.

The Raiders got Sandoval a first-inning run against Yotes ace Colette Robert (18-4) when Allie Stines led off with a hit and came home two batters later via Lauren Quirke’s single. Stines’ infield single in the fifth made it 3-0 after a Katrina Winterburn groundout plated the second run.

Robert held the Raiders to a season-low three hits and was only charged with one earned run in a complete game, but it wasn’t enough to outduel Sandoval, who struck out seven and walked two.

Sandoval let the Yotes into scoring position only in the sixth, when with runners on first and third she induced consecutive weakly-hit outs against Trystin Crofts and Marissa Maddox, the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters in the lineup.

In Game 2, the Raiders trailed 5-3 before turning four Yotes errors into a seven-run fifth inning. Stines and Hannah Shimek reached on back-to-back misplays to start the parade, and Quirke drove both of them in with a single that tied the score. After a Tiana Brown sacrifice fly, Paige Leeper unloaded on her third home run.

Freshman catcher Monica Deadmond went 2-for-3 with a two-run double in the second and a two-run single in the sixth, where the Raiders scored five more to trigger the mercy rule.

Olivia Mackey went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Avery Morehead-Hutsell was 2-for-3 with a run and two RBI.

Quirke got the win with three innings of one-hit relief. She struck out six of the 11 batters she faced and improved to 6-1.

Track and Field

OREGON STATE MEET: At Corvallis, hurdler Rhett Gonzalez and jumper Zach Beltz remained unbeaten this season and Southern Oregon earned a women’s relay victory during Day 2 of the Oregon State High Performance Meet.

Gonzalez won his fifth 110-meter hurdles race in as many meets, checking in at 14.61 seconds, and Beltz stayed perfect through six outings in the long jump with a mark of 24 feet, 8 inches.

In the same hurdles race as Gonzalez, the Raiders added another national-qualifying mark as freshman Bryce Goggin hit the NAIA ‘B’ standard on the nose in 14.95 for a runner-up finish.

In the 4x400 relay, Arianna Daniel, Savannah Greenwade, Julia Delucchi and Loghan Sprauer clocked in at 3:56.31 to beat out second-place Oregon State (3:58.65). The same group, minus Sprauer and plus Erika Soderstrom, placed second in the 4x100 in 48.06.

A handful of Raiders recorded season-bests in the meet, including Chris Rosero, who strengthened his No. 1 standing on the Cascade Conference’s 100-meter performance list by finishing seventh of 24 in 10.76. He was also sixth of 28 in the 200 in 21.82.

Sprauer improved her PR in the 100 hurdles to 14.85, replacing her old ‘B’ mark by one-hundredth of a second and placing sixth of 20. Delucchi was SOU’s top placer in the women’s 100, placing eighth of 23 in 12.42 to take the No. 3 spot on the CCC list and give the Raiders four of the top five.

Daniel was also sharp in the 400 with a runner-up showing of 56.69, while Greenwade was fifth in 59.09.

AJ Sandvig had another stellar 800 race with the third-best time of 48 entries in 1:54.05.

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