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Snow can't stop Lady Owls, Tech hits 4 HR in sweep

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Courtesy of Kaison Faust, OIT Athletics 

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Clearing 18 inches of snow off the Stilwell Stadium playing surface in 36 hours did not hamper the Oregon Tech attack as the Lady Owls hit four home runs and posted 19 runs in a doubleheader sweep of Carroll College.

Maggie Buckholz hit a pair of home runs and knocked in six runs in a 10-3 Game 1 win, while a walk-off RBI single from Zoe Allen capped a five-inning, 9-1 victory in the nightcap.

Kacie Schmidt tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts in the opener for the Lady Owls (14-5, 7-1 CCC), recording her seventh win of the year, with Mckenzie Staub limiting Carroll to four hits in the Game 2 victory.

"We are so blessed to have this field," said OIT head coach Greg Stewart. "It looked pretty bleak being able to play today after all the snow we got on Thursday night. But we were able to get it cleared and the kids played extremely well."

Buckholz staked Tech to an early lead in Game 1, roping an RBI single to score Kaila Mick in the first, while blasting a long 3-run homer in the third to extend the lead to 4-0. Mick pushed the margin to 7-0 in the 6-run third with a 2-run single.

The Fighting Saints (7-10, 3-5) cut the margin to 7-3 on a 3-run, fifth inning homer from Kenna Thomas, but Buckholz struck again in the sixth, golfing her second homer of the day, a 2-run shot, just over the wall in right.

Buckholz, Mick and Puakea Milbourne each had three hits in the victory, with Addison Kachnik adding two singles.

Game 2 started with a bang for OIT – as Zoe Allen and Mick hit back-to-back homers to open the first. Allen lined a ball just out of the reach of diving left fielder Kirsten Norris, circling the bags for an inside-the-park home run, with Mick roping a long ball over the wall in right-center. Tech added a third run in the frame on a Lexi Klum RBI single.

Carroll got a run back in the second, as Thomas doubled to cap a 12-pitch at bat, scoring on a bloop RBI single from Jessica Nimmo.

Tech put it away in the third, as Staub ripped an RBI single and Kachnik lined a 2-run single down the right field line. The Owls ended the game due to the mercy rule in the fifth, as Klum gapped a 2-run double and Allen lined an opposite-field walk-off RBI single.

Five OIT players – Allen, Milbourne, Staub, Klum and Kachnik – each had two hits in the victory, the 1,199th win in program history.

"I really like to see some of the adjustments we are making at the plate and we keep getting great pitching and defense," Stewart said.

The two teams close the weekend series tomorrow with a 12 p.m. doubleheader.

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