The 22nd-ranked Oregon Tech softball team continued to come up big in the clutch Monday, prolonging its streak and ending Southern Oregon's with 3-1 and 7-3 wins in Cascade Conference play at University Field.
Cassidy Olson and Jessi Duncan hurled complete games and combined to allow one earned run in the 10th and 11th straight wins for the first-place Owls (17-5 overall, 10-0 CCC).
The only run charged to Olson was of the unearned variety. She kept the Owls in the opener until they broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning with two runs, as Shauna Collins tripled in Danielle Sayres and then scored on a Tori Weatherford single.
SOU (8-10, 7-3), which had won six in a row, positioned itself to bounce back with a 3-0 edge through four innings of Game 2. But OIT struck in the fifth again, knocking out Raider pitcher Sydney White with four runs that were all unearned.
The tying and go-ahead runs scored when Tasha Silvius stroked a two-out single through the left side of the infield that brought home Tre Sullivan and Weatherford. Sullivan had earlier hit an RBI single to make the scored 3-2, and Weatherford was hit by a pitch after McKenzie Shrum's sacrifice fly brought in first run of the frame.
The Owls tacked on the final runs in the seventh, when Weatherford sent her sixth home run of the season sailing over the centerfield fence and Sadie Birch knocked a bases-loaded single past third.
Weatherford went 3-for-6 on the day, driving in three runs and scoring twice. Collins and Sayres had three hits apiece and combined to score five times.
SOU pitcher Brianne Craig managed the OIT lineup in Game 1, giving up five hits and two earned runs in her fourth straight complete game. She also pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the nightcap.
Though she was the victim of an unearned run in the first inning of the day, Craig temporarily got off the hook in the fourth when Kassie Smith blooped a game-tying double into right field.
The Raiders grabbed their first lead in the first inning of the nightcap as Ashley Lowe doubled in Alexa Gonzalez, who had reached via error. In the third, the Raiders went up three when Tyler Burke led off with a single, scored on an error, and Anderson further capitalized with an RBI single.
Lowe, Smith and Megan Scherer registered two hits apiece for the Raiders.
SOU will play its first conference road games Friday at Northwest while Oregon Tech plays at Concordia. The teams will then swap opponents on Saturday.
Track and Field
Southern Oregon University swept the Cascade Conference Red Lion Player of the Week track awards Monday as Eric Avila and Amelia Maguin got the nods, the league office announced.
Avila dominated the 49-person field in the 800-meter dash and Maguin did the same against 18 competitors in the 400-meter hurdles Saturday at Sacramento State's Hornet Invitational. Both now own the top times in the NAIA this season and have qualified for the NAIA Outdoor Championships in those events.
Avila, who already won national championships this school year for cross country and the indoor distance medley relay, raced to the third-best 800 time in school history, 1:50.89.
Maguin almost broke her own school record — 1:00.49, established last year — with a time of 1:00.56, which is nearly three second better than the next-fastest time in the NAIA thus far.
The Raiders are off until April 4, when they'll split up between the San Francisco State Distance Carnival and the Stanford Invitational.
At Bend, Crook County stormed back from an 8-0 deficit to hand Ashland its fourth straight loss to open the season, 11-8, after the Grizzlies fell 13-0 in five innings to Tigard earlier in the day at the Central Oregon Tournament.
Emerald Hayes was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Georgia Williams 1-for-3 with two runs scored to pace Ashland against Crook County, which scored five runs on two hits and three walks to reclaim the lead in the sixth.
Ashland pitcher Grace Lenthe held Crook County to three runs, two earned, on four hits and a walk through the first four innings.
Ashland 000 00 — 0 1 0
Tigard 200 29 — 13 12 0
Williams, Hayes (5) and Teixiera; Nunn and Hare. W — Nunn. L — Williams. 2B — T: Korak. 3B — T: Hare. HR — T: Hansen.
Ashland 331 100 0 — 8 4 3
Crook County 000 155 x — 11 9 2
Lenthe, Williams (5) and Teixiera; Smith, Benton (4) and Christiansen. W — Benton. L — Williams. 2B — C: Meyers.