SALEM — The Southern Oregon softball team opened its 2012 Cascade Collegiate Conference season with a bang Saturday, sweeping 16th-ranked Corban 8-4 and 10-0 in five innings at University Field.
In the opener, the Raiders (12-6) jumped on top early by scoring five runs in the first inning, then rode pitcher Jordyn Kurtz the rest of the way. The senior pitcher surrendered four runs on nine hits in the complete-game effort.
Julia Willison and Katie Moy tallied three hits apiece for the Raiders, with Willison driving in five runs on a double and a home run. Irene Barrantes and Stephanie Vandenbusch each added a pair of hits.
Liane Dehart, Stephanie Nippert and Erica Fitzgerald each finished with two hits for Corban (17-7, 2-4).
In Game 2, Eagle Point graduate Karlie Stephens pitched a five-hit shutout, and the Raiders scored six runs in the third inning and clinched the sweep on a walk-off homer by Willison. Chelsea Schriber gave up seven runs in 21/3 innings to take the loss for the Warriors.
Willison finished with two hits and four RBIs, including the game-winning home run. She totaled five hits in six at bats in the two games, including two homers and nine RBIs.
RAIDERS SOLID AT CHICO — At Chico, Calif., Southern Oregon overcame difficult weather conditions to earn three individual event titles, three NAIA qualifying marks and 34 Cascade Collegiate Conference qualifying marks at the Chico State Wildcat Invitational.
Eric Avila earned the Raiders' lone NAIA automatic qualifying mark, finishing second in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 3 minutes, 52.42 seconds to pass the NAIA "A" standard in the event. Matt Battaglia and James Johnstone each earned provisional "B" standard qualifiers, as Battaglia won the 800 meter run with a time of 1:54.48. Johnstone finished sixth in the 1,500 meter run with a time of 3:56.62.
David Sherman also won an event title for the Raiders, finishing the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 9:43.71. Southern Oregon's final event title came in the men's 4x400 meter relay, as Sullivan Stevens, Jonz Olander, Nick Perrino and Brandon Ritchie teamed up to post a first-place time of 3:18.49.
ARIZONA 5, OREGON STATE 4 — At Corvallis, 19th-ranked Oregon State left the tying run stranded at third base in the ninth inning in a 5-4 loss to fifth-ranked Arizona Saturday at Goss Stadium.
Down two entering the bottom of the ninth, Oregon State's John Tommasini drew a leadoff walk and moved to third when former Ashland High all-star Max Gordon doubled off the right field wall, just missing his first college home run.
Tyler Smith, who finished the game with three hits, drove in Tommasini with a sacrifice fly to center, but Arizona reliever Matthew Troupe got Michael Conforto swinging and induced a 5-3 ground out by Dylan Davis to end the game.
Dan Child started for the Beavers (15-6, 4-1) and allowed seven hits and two runs with five strikeouts in six innings. He did not get the decision.
OREGON 5, UTAH 3 — At Eugene, freshman Jake Reed pitched 7 1/3 solid innings and the Oregon offense made a late push in the comeback victory at PK Park.
In the second game of a three-game series with the Utes (6-15, 2-3 Pac-12), No. 24 Oregon (15-5, 3-2) manufactured a comeback and three-run inning in the eighth, turning a pitching duel into a slugfest, and clinching the series win.
BEAVERS THIRD — At Salt Lake City, Utah, Oregon State's eighth-ranked gymnastics team finished third at the Pac-12 Championships meet at the University of Utah.
All-arounders Makayla Stambaugh and Melanie Jones led the Beavers to their second highest score of the year at 197.050, while UCLA won with a score of 197.425.