SOU faces must-win scenario in softball

ASHLAND — With four home games left in the season, all the Southern Oregon softball team has to do is win out to claim the Cascade Conference championship and a berth in the NAIA National Tournament.

The Raiders will kick off that quest at 2 p.m. Friday when they host first-place College of Idaho (29-16, 17-3 CC), then return to their home field at 11 a.m. Saturday to take on Eastern Oregon (13-25, 5-15).

Southern Oregon (19-14, 15-5) is two games back of the Coyotes in the standings and should the Raiders win out, they own the tiebreaker and will win the conference title. If the Coyotes win one game against SOU, they win the title.

"The great thing is that we are in control of what happens," SOU head coach Kim Fritts said. "We know what we have to do now and that's beat a really good College of Idaho team."

The Raiders kept the dream of a championship alive by sweeping Oregon Tech Tuesday afternoon, 12-8 and 5-3.

"I'm really impressed with how we came out yesterday and didn't look past Oregon Tech," Fritts said. "We could have easily looked past them to Friday's games. I liked how we came out and started hitting the ball, that's going to be important against C of I."

Southern Oregon had 26 hits in the doubleheader sweep of the Owls, including home runs by Bailey Price, Strohm Fouty and Justine Fulton.

Freshman Kathryn Moy was 6-for-7 in the doubleheader and Fouty added five hits. Fouty now leads the league in batting with a .462 average and teammate Meghan Laughlin is second at .448.

On Friday, Southern Oregon will also be looking to avenge an earlier sweep at the hands of the Coyotes in Caldwell, Idaho, 12-1 and 6-0. College of Idaho has won 10 straight conference games entering Friday's doubleheader.

"They did everything right when we played before and we couldn't get anything going," Fritts said.

This is the first year that the regular season champion will go straight to the NAIA National Tournament. In the past, teams would have to qualify for the NAIA Regional Tournament before moving on to the Nationals.

Southern Oregon has never qualified for the National Tournament.

Track and Field

RAIDERS WIN SIX AT OIT — At Klamath Falls, an abbreviated Southern Oregon track squad won six events in the dual meet.

Antwun Baker led SOU with a set of victories in the 100 meters (11.1 seconds) and 200 (22.32).

Jared Pederson claimed victory in the 110 hurdles in 16.2 seconds, while Travis Pattan won the pole vault (13 feet, 6 inches) and the SOU men's team won the 4x100 relay (45.1).

Rosie Converse came away with the lone victory for the SOU women with a time of 1:09.34 in the 400 hurdles.

The Raiders are now off until next weekend's Cascade Conference Championships in Portland.


SPRING GAME SET FOR FRIDAY — The culmination of spring practice for the Southern Oregon football team, the annual Spring Game at Raider Stadium, is slated to start at 7 p.m. Friday.

The game will feature four 15-minute running quarters, with the clock stopping during the last two minutes of the second and fourth quarters.

The event also offers a chance for quarterbacks Paul Sweeney, Blake Sutton, Chad Draper and Ben Running to impress the coaching staff in hopes of nailing down the starting spot for SOU head coach Steve Helminiak.

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