SOU softball sweeps Owls

KLAMATH FALLS — It took just two days for Harlee Donovan to earn one of the most sought-after labels for any Southern Oregon University athlete, but after what the junior transfer did to Oregon Tech this weekend she can now in arguably be regarded as an Owl killer.

Donovan hit home runs for the fifth and sixth consecutive games Saturday to give 21st-ranked SOU a sweep of the No. 25 Owls on Saturday with 7-6 and 9-1 victories at OIT Field. She homered five times in the four-game series and is up to 10 on the season, one shy of matching the Raider single-season record.

Her first of the day was a two-run shot in the top of the seventh inning that erased SOU's 6-4 deficit. The Raiders (32-9, 16-5 Cascade Conference) went on to win it in extras, as Abigail Lund led off the eighth with a double, was sacrificed to third by Aaliyah Oliver and scored on Kelsey Randall's single up the middle.

In Game 2, a nonleague counter, Donovan hit a two-run bomb in the third and SOU eventually triggered the mercy rule in the fifth when Lund added a three-run shot to the opposite field — the senior's first of the season — and Kayleen Smith poked an RBI single. Karlee Coughlin brought her record to 11-0 with a four-hitter that she completed without a strikeout, helping her own cause with a 3-for-3 showing at the plate.

SOU took sole possession of second place, moving two games ahead of OIT (24-12, 14-7) and one ahead of Eastern Oregon. Corban still holds a two-game lead in first.

Smith had five hits and three runs on the day and Randall added four hits at the top of the lineup.

Victoria Mackey (4-0) earned the Game 1 victory by pitching four more innings of scoreless, two-hit relief. She's gone 30 innings without allowing an earned run this season and 37 1/3 dating back to last year.

Tyler Burke's two-run double and Taylor Martinez's one-run double in the third put SOU up 4-1, but the Owls made it 6-4 with a three-run sixth in which Rashaun Shells, Ali Graham and Sadie Birch had RBI hits.

The Raiders last swept a regular-season series against OIT in 2009. They lost nine straight against the Owls from 2013-15 but have won nine of 11 meetings since.

Track and Field

RAIDER INVITE: At Ashland, the photos showed Rakayla Tyler's shoelaces came untied by the end of the women's 100-meter dash. The results showed it didn't matter: Southern Oregon's sophomore sprinter broke a 13-year-old school record anyway.

Hers was one of many standout performances during the final day of the Raider Invitational at Raider Stadium, as SOU's men and women combined to hit four new NAIA Championship qualifying standards and win nine events.

Tyler finished in 12.13 seconds to break the old Raider record, established by Andrea Eide in 2004, by one-hundredth of a second and top a 27-person field in the 100. It also made her an NAIA provisional qualifier. She teamed up with Arianna Daniel, Margot Hamman and Savannah Greenwade to supplant another school record in the 4x100-meter relay of 47.87, topping the old mark that made the Raiders auto qualifiers for the national meet earlier this season.

Daniel hit an NAIA provisional mark in the 400 by finishing in 57.20, strengthening her Cascade Conference-best time, and Hamman recorded two personal bests by finishing third in the 100 (12.53) and fourth in the 200 (26.17).

Aspen Abbott also went to No. 1 on a CCC list by winning the 800 in 2:15.25, just missing her own Raider record. She then helped the 4x400 relay team notch an NAIA 'B' mark with Daniel, Savannah Greenwade in Erika Soderstrom in 3:56.70.

The Raider men took advantage of a rare warm day in the sprints, too.

Matt East, already an automatic qualifier for the national meet, nearly clipped the 100-meter SOU record he established last week by winning a 43-person field in 10.59, and Cameron Bremner was fourth in 10.85. In the 4x100, those two joined Dwight Shaw and Jeremiah Emershy to bring their former 'B' time to an 'A' of 41.34, the fourth-best mark in the NAIA this season.

The Raiders also won the 4x400 with a time of 3:18.58 produced by East, Bremner, Cedric Quartey and Gary Fanelli. Fanelli was third in the 800 with a season-best of 1:55.14 that ranks first on the CCC list, and Quartey took third of 25 in the 400 at 49.32.

In the long jump, Zach Beltz eclipsed his CCC-best mark at 23 feet 10 inches to place second, and Shaw was third in 22-9. In the pole vault, Kyle Anderson took fourth at 14-7.

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