HELENA, Mont. — The Raiders didn't feel like waiting until the final weekend of the regular season to sure up who would be crowned the champions of the Cascade Collegiate Conference. Instead, with a 10-0 win on Saturday, Southern Oregon University's softball team won their third straight regular-season title.
They're the first team to accomplish that feat since they did it between 2003-2005.
The five-inning win in game one was Gabby Sandoval's 36th straight winning decision, as the Raider ace is now the fourth most winningest pitcher in NAIA history with 112 wins. The offense made life easy for the Anaheim, California-native, as the Raiders completed their eleventh mercy-rule win out of 23 CCC victories.
Senior Hannah Shimek led the way, going 4-for-4 in game one and accounted for 6 of the Raiders 10 runs (3 runs scored, 3 Runs Batted In).
Game two ended the Raiders' winning streak at 16, although it didn't count against their conference record. Carroll College scored 3 runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk off top-ranked SOU in just the Raiders' third loss of 2021. Sandoval was handed the loss after replacing Lauren Quirke in the fifth inning.
Kaitlynn Ayers hit a one-out double, plating two Fighting Saints runners and completing the upset. It was Sandoval's first loss since May 29, 2019, in the NAIA World Series.
The Raiders will wrap up the regular season with a two-day, four-game series against Corban University on Friday and Saturday.