Homers help SOU earn split

PORTLAND — The Southern Oregon softball team split a pair of Cascade Conference road games against Concordia on Monday, falling 4-3 in the opener before bouncing back to earn an 8-5 victory in the second game at Delta Park.

Southern Oregon, 13-7 overall and 3-1 in conference play, hosts No. 5 Oregon Tech in a conference doubleheader today at 2 p.m.

Stephanie Vandenbusch led the Raider offense with three home runs and four hits. She drove in five runs. Sierra Anderson also homered in each game and tallied four hits in the doubleheader.

In the opener, Jordyn Kurtz took the complete-game loss for SOU, yielding two earned runs on nine hits in six innings.

Vandenbusch hit a two-run homer, with Melissa Corn aboard, in the fourth to tie it at 2-2.

Anderson's first home run of the day again evened the score in the top of the fifth, a solo shot to left-center.

In the nightcap, the two teams combined for 28 hits, and the Raiders scored the final five runs.

Chelsea Talbert got the win in relief for the Raiders, pitching 22/3 shutout innings while yielding five hits, and Kurtz picked up the final two outs to earn the save.

Concordia again opened the scoring, picking up a pair of runs on three hits in the bottom of the first.

Anderson answered with a solo shot in the third.

After the Cavs scored in the third, the Raiders responded with a pair in the fourth to tie it at 3-3. Katie Moy doubled to open the inning, and she came in to score on a CU error.

Vandenbusch then doubled to right and advanced on a wild pitch, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Irene Barrantes.

Southern Oregon picked up its first lead in the top of the sixth. Moy led off with a home run and Kurtz reached on an error. Brooke Springer pinch ran for Kurtz and stole second, then advanced to third on a throwing error. Vandenbusch followed with her second homer of the game to put SOU up 6-5.

The Raiders added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh. With two outs, Kurtz and Vandenbusch hit back-to-back home runs to make it 8-5. Concordia loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but Kurtz got the final out to clinch the victory for SOU.

WILLISON HONORED — Southern Oregon sophomore Julia Willison has been named Cascade Collegiate Conference Red Lion Softball Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday.

Willison helped the Raiders sweep No. 16 Corban on Saturday as SOU picked up 8-4 and 10-0 upset victories to open the conference season 2-0. The SOU catcher finished the day with five hits in six at-bats, including a pair of home runs and nine total runs batted in.

BEAVERS TO AUBURN — Oregon State's gymnastics team will compete in the Auburn Regional April 7.

Teams in the field are No. 6 Georgia, No. 7 Oregon State, No. 18 Auburn, No. 21 Michigan, West Virginia and Michigan State.

The top two teams in the meet will advance to the NCAA Championships at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga., April 20-22.

BERGER HELPS USU — Former North Medford player Danny Berger scored 17 points as Utah State advanced to the championship game of the CollegeInsider.com championship game Sunday with a 105-81 rout of Oakland.

Berger, a sophomore guard, drained a career-high five 3-pointers.

The Aggies were 12-for-16 (75 percent) from behind the arc. They scored the most points in the program since 1997 and broke the century mark for the first time since 2011.

The Aggies will host Mercer in the title game on Wednesday at 6 p.m. PDT. It will be televised on Fox College Sports.

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