Photo by Al Case, Ashland Daily Photo
Southern Oregon University Athletics
In recent weeks, the Raider softball program has put up the mid-season fight. They split the series against Oregon Institute of Technology, who is ranked second in the nation while the Raiders are ranked ninth. In conference standings, the Raiders are placed fourth with OIT, College of Idaho, and Eastern Oregon above them. This past weekend, in the series against Warner Pacific, the Raiders did not only just sweep the series, they put up a total of 55 runs and finished every game in five innings. The runs ranked them first in the nation with 356 runs on the season so far.
On top of the team accomplishments, senior catcher Riley Donovan had a weekend of accolades. Donovan, who has a .912 slugging percentage, is now at the top of the NAIA RBI leaderboard with 63 runs. She had 10 RBIs in the doubleheader making her the first Raider to ever do so. Last, she tied the single-season home record at 12 against her older sister, Harlee Donovan. Nationally, Donovan is in a first-place three-way tie for home runs on the season. Donovan was also named the WVT Laboratory Softball Player of the Week.
Another nationally ranked leader is Cayla Williams. Williams is ranked second in the nation for her five pitching saves. She was also named WVT Laboratory Softball Pitcher of the Week. This is Williams’s first year for the Raiders, and she is a junior transfer from West Valley Community College.
In game one, Williams came close to pitching a no-hitter, but the momentum was broken up by the Knights. Eventually, Mayze Menefee came in for about three innings of relief and finished the game for her fifth win of the season. The Raiders scored a majority of their runs in the second inning from the 10-point rally, which had appearances from the entire lineup.
Final Score: 16 – 0
The second game started with the Raiders trailing 5-1, but the Raiders eventually rallied back in the third inning with Donovan’s double. The double scored Deja Acosta, who led the second game in hits and runs, and Sarah Kerling, a freshman outfielder. By the end of the games, Acosta had a 6-6 day and had four stolen bases. Another standout of the games was Piper Love, a freshman who was named CCC Player of the Week recently. Love finished the with a 5-6 combined batting record on the day.
Final Score: 15 – 7
The Raiders didn’t hold back the momentum come game three. In the first inning, Ashton Cathey had a two-run homerun. In the game, Cathey had the most RBIs with four. And, similar to game two, the Raiders put up most of their runs in the second inning. From the pitching side, Williams pitched five innings facing 17 batters and allowing no runs.
Final Score: 12 – 0
The last game of the series had four hitting standouts: Donovan, Kerling, Williams, and Phelicity Fa’aita. Each of them had at least two hits and one RBI. On the defense, Katie Machado, a sophomore transfer, added another win to her season record. She now stands at 11-3. Machado had seven strikeouts out of the 25 batters she faced.
Final Score: 12 – 3
The next home matchups for SOU will be this Thursday and Friday against Carroll College. Live broadcasts can be found at this link here, and for live stats, here. The Raiders only have 12 regular-season games remaining before postseason play will begin, so if you get a chance, head down to the softball field to see your Raiders compete for post-season play.