No. 9 SOU stays hot with Jessup’s sweep | Sports

LINCOLN, Calif. — The No. 9-ranked Southern Oregon softball team earned its 12th and 13th wins in its last 14 games, sweeping Jessup, Calif., by scores of 6-4 and 8- 0 in non-championship action on Friday at Foskett Regional Park.

A five-run fifth inning, opened by Rylan Austin’s three-run brace, was Game 1 history as the Raiders (18-4 overall) overturned a 2-1 deficit. They finished Game 2 in six innings, rewarding pitcher Katie Machado’s shutout with a four-run frame that triggered the eight-run rule in their final at-bat.

The Warriors, who received votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll, fell to 13-8.

Their lead in the opener was dissipated when Sarah Kerling scored from a wild pitch to level the score at 2-2 in the fifth. SOUC decision pitcher Cayla Williams then tackled Kailer Fulton for the go-ahead with a single middle before Austin landed the big shot.

Ashton Cathey had two hits, a walk and a run during the contest. Williams worked about 10 hits and two walks in a full game. The only two earned runs she allowed were scored in the seventh inning. She removed seven and left nine warriors stranded on bases.

Acosta went 3 for 4 in Game 2, netting a two-run brace in the sixth that gave SOU a comfortable 6-0 advantage. Fulton – who had two hits and scored three times – followed with an infield single, and Riley Donovan ended the rally with an RBI double.

RBI singles from Ashton Cathey and Lindsey Stripling in the first and second innings put the Raiders ahead. Donovan doubled his lead in the fifth with a two-run hit. Sammie Pemberton added a pair of singles and a run.

Machado continued his recent solid work with seven strikeouts and no walks on five hits, and Kerling kept his line clean by stealing a potentially tying home run in the third inning. She won her sixth straight decision, going 8-1, and in her last five starts she’s allowed just four earned runs in 30 innings. The junior’s ERA dropped to 1.76.

SOU returns to Cascade Conference play next Friday and Saturday with a four-game series in British Columbia.

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