ASHLAND — Precipitation in the forecast has caused another one of the Southern Oregon softball team’s Cascade Conference series to be pushed back a day.
The 14th-ranked Raiders (23-7 overall, 7-2 CCC) and the University of British Columbia (3-12, 2-5) are now slated to begin their four-game set with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday, followed by another at 10 a.m. Sunday. All games will be played at the Softball City complex in Surrey, B.C. Due mostly to snowy conditions in Canada and Montana, only half of the conference’s 10 teams have played each of their nine scheduled CCC games to this point.
SOU extended its winning streak to nine games last week in Ashland with a sweep of Northwest (Wash.) in which the Raiders outscored the Eagles by a combined margin of 33-5. During the streak, their run differential is 101-25; they’ve batted .419 (109-for-260) with 30 extra-base hits; they’ve committed just five errors; their pitchers have posted an earned-run average of 2.67; and they’ve won with the mercy rule in effect five times.
Last season SOU rattled off a 13-game winning streak — capped by a four-game sweep of UBC — and later won 10 in a row. The 13-gamer was SOU longest since winning 15 straight in 2005. The longest streak in team history, established in 2004, stands at 17 games.
Randall Voted Player of the Week: For the sixth time in her career (and the fifth time in softball), Kelsey Randall was named the CCC Player of the Week on Monday. Against Northwest, Randall went 7-for-10 with a home run, a double, four walks, seven runs scored and four RBI. Her final run of the series was the 200th of her career, making her the first player in team history to ever reach the milestone, and she’s just 10 hits away from becoming the first Raider to record 300. This season, the senior shortstop and three-time CCC Gold Glove winner leads the NAIA in runs scored (38) and stolen bases (35).
Coming Up: In a span of three weeks, the Raiders will play two series with major CCC championship implications at University Field. On March 30-31 they’ll host No. 8 Corban (17-4, 7-0), which is first place in the standings and the defending regular-season champion. And after a weekend away at Northwest Christian, they’ll return to face second-place Oregon Tech (19-5, 8-1) on April 13-14. Over the last three seasons, SOU is 23-9 in conference home games and 21-8 in conference road games.
About UBC
• Since the Thunderbirds joined the CCC as an associate member in 2016, the Raiders have won all eight games by a combined margin of 59-8. SOU is 11-4 overall in the series.
• UBC is coming off four straight losses last weekend at Oregon Tech. The Thunderbirds are batting .288 as a team and allowing a .288 mark. They’ve scored four or fewer runs 11 times.
• In the circle, their primary starters are Zoe Willis (1-5, 4.81 ERA) and Emma Tuson (2-3, 5.20).