Southern Oregon University Athletics. Image Credit Bob Palermini, www.palermini.com
The Raiders hosted and won the non-conference matchup against Arizona Christian University (ACU) this past weekend, where they won two of the three games. The Raiders program is currently ranked 7th in the Cascade Conference, but their competitors, Oregon Tech (1) and College of Idaho (2) have played at least three more games than the Raiders program. The Raiders’ only conference matchup so far this season was against British Columbia. Currently, the Raiders are 15-5 for the full season and 2-1 for conference.
Game One was held in Medford at the Lithia & Driveway Fields because of the rain/snow weather, and the field change didn’t stop the Raiders from showcasing a hitting performance. The Raiders put up 16 runs in five innings. They pounced on ACU’s pitcher in the first inning with Riley Donovan, a senior for Raiders, who started off the hitting rally. Deja Acosta, after reaching base from a wild throw, was the first to score. Following Acosta, Donovan, Ashton Cathey, Cayla Williams, Piper Love, and Rylan Austin all put up numbers on the board.
From the defensive side, Katie Machado grabbed another win. But it was Williams who started off the game and pitched the first three innings. Machado pitched the last two of the five-inning game. Combined, the pitching staff faced 24 batters and had four strikeouts, two from both Machado and Williams.
Final Score: 16-1
Game Two was hosted back on the home field in Ashland. ACU put up three points in the first inning on Machado, and from there, they chipped away at the score, which eventually put them ahead by four points. The Raiders came back in the sixth inning from a four-point deficit. They rallied five runs in the sixth which put them ahead by one point. The rally started with Austin, who was replaced by Kami Klapp. Klapp was the first score after Erika Marquez, a senior outfielder, and Sammie Pemberton both singled. But their victory and gain of points were short-lived when ACU put up two more runs, giving them the lead again. The Raiders finished their seventh with a three up, three down scenario and did not produce at the plate.
Mayze Menefee, Machado, and Williams all pitched in the second game of the series. Machado had the most innings pitched at four. She faced 23 batters and had six strikeouts. However, ACU took advantage of those at-bats and accumulated ten hits.
Final Score: 8-9
Game Three was almost a flipped scenario from the second game. The Raiders scored in each of the first three innings. In the second inning, with two outs, the Raiders produced four runs. The rally started with a single from Marquez. Then, pushing her way onto base with a bunt, was Sarah Kerling, a utility freshman. After both Marquez and Kerling got on base and into scoring position, regular plate appearances from Acosta, Donovan, and Cathey brought the Raiders up 5-0. In the third inning, the Raiders rallied the points and put up another four runs on the board, making the score 9-0. However, the massive lead from the Raiders didn’t intimidate ACU at the top of the fourth. They scored seven runs to make the game only a two-score difference.
Different from the previous two games of the series, Phelicity Fa’aita, a sophomore pitcher/infielder from San Mateo C.C., started the game against ACU. But Fa’aita lost her momentum on the mound in the fourth. Menefee came in for relief in the inning, but ACU refused to give up their energy. Off of both Fa’iata and Menefee, ACU scored four runs each. Machado came in the top of the sixth to finish the last two innings with a save in the books.
Final Score: 9-8
Recently, Raider Ashton Cathey and Riley Donovan were named as one of the Cascade Conference WVT Laboratory Players of the Week.
The next matchup is a conference series for the Raiders. This upcoming weekend, the Raiders will face off against Providence. The full season schedule for the Raiders can be found here.