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Michael, Poppen pin as SOU falls to EOU

ASHLAND — Despite back-to-back pins by 141-pounder Devin Poppen and 149-pounder Chandler Michael, the 18th-ranked Southern Oregon men’s wrestling team couldn’t overcome its lone forfeit in a 21-18 loss to No. 20 Eastern Oregon on Saturday night at Riehm Arena.

Poppen, Michael and heavyweight Max Hane were all victorious on their Senior Night, and CJ McKinnis won a thriller at 184 pounds, but a sudden-victory upset for EOU’s 19th-ranked Harley DiLulo over No. 4 Tanner Fischer at 197 pounds keyed the Mountaineers’ first win over the Raiders since 1970.

The matchup opened at 125 with fourth-ranked Mhar Caballa’s 7-5 win over fifth-ranked Pancho Barrera, and EOU’s Blake McNall (133) defended his No. 11 ranking with a 6-2 defeat of Justin Coon to make it 6-0.

Poppen, who owns the second-most pins in SOU history, got his 13th of the season with a minute left in his match against Tyler Miler. Michael, ranked fourth at 149, got his with 10 seconds to spare against Jared Brant.

Michael’s win gave the Raiders a 12-6 lead, but they gave six points back with a forfeit at 157. Back-to-back decisions in favor of EOU’s fourth-ranked Drake Randall (165) and Marco Retano (174), over Hunter Hodges and Cody Stahl, made it 18-12.

McKinnis (184) kept hope alive for the Raiders by delivering in the wildest sequence of the night. After nearly 25 seconds of scrambling and tumbling in the third period with a 1-1 score, McKinnis was awarded a takedown with 15 seconds left and hung on for a 3-2 win against Ryan Redford.

Following DiLulo’s upset of Fischer - in which he scored a takedown with two seconds left in overtime for an 8-6 win - Hane needed a pin of Noel Orozco to tie the score but settled on a 5-1 decision. It was Hane’s 10th dual victory of the season.

The Raiders dropped to 5-8 in dual action with their last one coming up at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Warner Pacific.

Softball

SOUTHERN OREGON 8-3, CORBAN 0-2: Two Cascade Conference rivals accustomed to playing deep into May got an advance look at each other in an impromptu doubleheader Saturday at US Cellular Community Park, and the Southern Oregon University softball team liked what it saw.

The third-ranked Raiders opened their season with two wins against No. 16 Corban, as Gabby Sandoval pitched a six-inning shutout in Game 1 and Paige Leeper squeezed home Taelor Mayben with one out in the eighth inning of Game 2 in the non-conference counters.

The teams were both scheduled to take on Simpson (Calif.) and Menlo (Calif.) on Saturday in Redding, Calif., but were turned around by a flooded field and agreed to meet in Medford not long after. SOU’s games originally scheduled for today have also been called off.

The Raiders’ excitement to start the season was apparent in the opener, when they put up four runs in a first inning highlighted by a Rebecca Velasquez two-run double to the left field fence. Allie Stines and Lauren Quirke also singled in the inning; a Tayler Walker squeeze bunt and Paige Leeper’s groundout played the other runs.

It was more than enough for Sandoval, a junior coming off a 27-6 campaign. She worked around six hits and two walks with six strikeouts during her 107-pitch outing.

The Raiders totaled 13 hits in the game as Avery Morehead-Hutsell, Hannah Shimek, Quirke, Stines and Velasquez had two apiece. Walker added an RBI single in the second, Quirke hit a two-run shot up the middle in the fourth, and Shimek chased home Morehead-Hutsell with a liner to center field in the sixth, triggering the mercy rule.

Quirke, a junior, made her debut in the circle in Game 2, allowing three hits and a run with five strikeouts through 5 1/3 innings. Morgan Jones got the win in relief, giving up just one unearned run and two hits as she finished the job. She got help in the eighth (when the international tiebreaker was in effect) from Shimek, who cut down two Warriors at the plate.

With Mayben at second to start the bottom half of the eighth, Velasquez bunted her over and Leeper bunted her home with a well-placed poke to the right side.

Mahina Chong gave Corban the lead with a first-inning solo home run, but Miranda Sutter and Tiana Brown knotted the score with back-to-back doubles in the second. In the fourth, Brown singled home leeper to make it 2-1.

Corban tied the score with one out in the seventh. After Sam Woodley reached second base on an error, Megan Rybar doubled her home.

Alyssa Vidal took the loss despite three solid innings of relief.

SOU’s Hannah Wessel went 3-for-3 in Game 2 while Leeper and Shimek joined Brown with two hits apiece.

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