SOU softball team earns key sweep of NW Christian

    Fighting for a spot in the Cascade Conference Postseason Tournament, the Southern Oregon University softball team scored a key sweep of Northwest Christian on Friday in Eugene.

    The Raiders rolled to a 14-4 victory in the opener and a 10-0 victory in the nightcap.

    Southern Oregon improved to 18-17 overall and 14-8 in Cascade Conference play and will travel to Corban for another crucial doubleheader this afternoon. The Warriors were swept by 17th-ranked Oregon Tech today and fell to 12-8 in conference play.

    Southern Oregon (14-8), College of Idaho (12-8), Corban (12-8) and Concordia (11-7) are in a virtual tie for the final two Cascade Conference playoff spots. Concordia and College of Idaho play today in Caldwell, Idaho.

    While Southern Oregon's starting pitching was silencing the Northwest Christian offense, the Southern Oregon bats continued to pound away.

    In the opener, it was a pair of long balls that sparked the SOU offense.

    Trailing 3-0 in the top of the third, sophomore Rayna Okimoto tied the game for the Raiders with a three-run shot over the wall in left.

    The Beacons took the lead again in the bottom of the frame 4-3, but were shut out the rest of the way.

    The Raiders tied the game in the fourth with a run off a hit and two errors.

    Irene Barrantes gave the Raiders the lead for good at 5-4 with her seventh home run of the year in the fifth.

    Southern Oregon broke it open in the sixth, scoring eight runs on seven hits to end the game by the mercy rule.

    Okimoto and Katie Moy each had three hits in the opener for the Raiders. Okimoto now has 10 home runs on the season, which ranks second all-time and is just one home run from equaling Tanisha Burch's 2006 school record of 11.

    Jordyn Kurtz picked up the victory for the Raiders to improve to 9-6 on the year.

    In the second game, SOU pitcher Jessica Flores pitched a complete game one-hitter and received plenty of run support as the Raiders scored seven runs in the first three innings and pounded out 14 hits in the game.

    In the first, the Raiders took advantage of two Northwest Christian miscues to take a 4-0 lead.

    The Raiders added two more runs in the second inning and one in the third for an early 7-0 advantage.

    In the seventh, Moy doubled to left-center to break the school's career doubles record with 34 and drive in two of SOU's three runs in the frame.

    Moy had three hits to lead the Raiders, while Melissa Corn, Flores and Brooke Springer had two hits apiece.

    Flores struck out six and improved to 3-2.

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