SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory - High Wind Watch - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Raiders defy the odds in extra-inning thriller, win back-to-back national titles

Five straight elimination game wins from Southern Oregon University softball gave the Raiders a postseason run to remember forever as they took down rival Oregon Tech in the winner-take-all title game, 7-5 in extra innings on Tuesday.

Posted: Jun 2, 2021 7:26 PM
Updated: Jun 5, 2021 12:10 AM

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Southern Oregon University softball never quit. Facing elimination five times, the Raiders won five straight games to claim their second NAIA National Championship in school history, doing it in back-to-back seasons.

The game started much like the first game as the Raiders, the away team this time around, came out swinging. Hannah Shimek took the first pitch she saw from Sarah Abramson to the right-field fence, logging a stand-up triple with one out. Tayler Walker took a two-out pitch into right field, scoring Shimek and advanced Riley Donovan, who walked, to second. The next batter was Medford-native Rylan Austin who hit a 1-2 pitch right back up the middle. Donovan scored from second to give SOU a 2-0 lead in the first half-inning.

But Oregon Tech also came out swinging in the first. McKenna Armantrout singled to lead off the frame. She was out on the force at second on a Kaila Mick grounder, but an errant throw put her on second with one out. With two outs, Maggie Buckholz singled into left-center to score Mick and put the Owls on the board.

Both pitchers settled in after that, working quickly through the middle innings. It wasn’t until the sixth inning the championship game saw more runners cross home plate.

With two outs in the top of the sixth, Shimek returned to the batter’s box with two runners aboard. She hit a low line drive into left-center, Jensen Becker went to make her second diving play of the inning but the ball gets past her. Two Raiders came around to score as the second baseman coasted into third with her second triple of the night, this time bringing in two runs.

The Owls couldn’t get anything going in the sixth and were tasked with holding SOU in the top of the seventh to keep it a 4-1 ballgame.

Abramson got the Raiders down to their final out as the senior right fielder Olivia Mackey dug into the left-hander’s batter’s box. She hit a rocket at Mick at short and the ball went off her shin into center field. The deflection got past the outfield to go all the way to the wall. Mackey raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run to give Southern Oregon a 5-1 lead with only three outs between them and back-to-back national titles.

Oregon Tech wasn’t going down without a fight. A pair of singles and walk loaded the bases for the Owls with two outs. Buckholz, who hit a walk-off home run earlier in the tournament, representing the tying run. She drew a walk to bring the Owls a run closer, giving way to Krista Ward to keep the inning, and Oregon Tech’s championship hopes, alive. An RBI single from the second baseman made it a 5-3 game.

So Kennedy Jantzi steps in for the Owls. She hits a slow roller between the third baseman and shortstop to score another run and it’s a one-run ballgame. Raiders head coach Jessica Pistole went with a pitching change, bringing in Lauren Quirke to get one out and save the SOU lead. Logan Nunes, the seasoned veteran, drew a walk to bring in the tying run and extend the game.

A scoreless eighth brought us to the ninth inning. Donovan led off the ninth inning for the Raiders and she did it with a bang. A solo shot to straight-away center field put the Raiders on top 6-5 in the ninth. Tayler Walker singled to get aboard and was left there until Olivia Mackey hit a triple into right-center to make it 7-5 headed to the bottom of the ninth.

Oregon Tech threatened again in the bottom half. They had the tying run on first with one out, but come up just short.

This article will be updated later tonight after NewsWatch 12 Sports is able to talk to the teams.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 353368

Reported Deaths: 4226
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55417699
Washington38425317
Marion36469448
Clackamas29440306
Lane27431300
Jackson22837305
Deschutes19958125
Umatilla14358145
Linn12672126
Douglas11962243
Josephine9307195
Yamhill8621111
Klamath7846116
Polk724881
Malheur555376
Benton541931
Coos495494
Columbia377043
Jefferson367752
Union316548
Lincoln315438
Wasco284840
Crook281846
Clatsop242029
Baker199928
Tillamook195529
Hood River190537
Morrow183423
Curry179425
Harney111926
Grant99512
Lake91012
Wallowa67612
Gilliam1524
Sherman1483
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4830872

Reported Deaths: 70874
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147942126446
Riverside3706085008
San Diego3652534170
San Bernardino3576395606
Orange3235695531
Sacramento1587852294
Fresno1453782063
Kern1452271616
Santa Clara1451271895
Alameda1203661384
San Joaquin1023411721
Ventura1008491165
Contra Costa99712995
Stanislaus857501325
Tulare79627958
San Francisco54266644
San Mateo54023622
Monterey50792583
Solano45934339
Santa Barbara45047522
Merced42089579
Sonoma40865402
Placer39157420
Imperial35832764
Kings32649320
San Luis Obispo29837331
Madera23720285
Butte23673265
Shasta23574349
Santa Cruz20943218
Yolo20266248
Marin17665244
El Dorado17097149
Sutter13861172
Napa12864100
Yuba1001982
Tehama9433107
Humboldt9180107
Nevada911690
Mendocino758487
Lassen753046
San Benito741672
Tuolumne682889
Lake6583104
Amador540764
Siskiyou446442
Glenn434232
Calaveras386580
Del Norte357441
Colusa303018
Inyo205540
Mono16643
Plumas16126
Mariposa132315
Trinity86911
Modoc6755
Unassigned2120
Sierra1820
Alpine1030
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 45°
Brookings
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 52°
Crater Lake
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 45°
Grants Pass
Mostly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 45°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 34°
Drying trend this afternoon, more storms to follow
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events