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Raiders fall to conference foe College of Idaho, but title defense remains alive

Southern Oregon University took a 4-3 lead into the top of the fifth inning before the 4-seed College of Idaho scored three runs, a lead they would take to the end of the game.

Posted: May 29, 2021 5:19 PM
Updated: May 29, 2021 10:13 PM

COLUMBUS, Ga. — What amounted to a long day for Southern Oregon University softball left a sour taste in the Raiders' mouths. After having to play finish up their Friday game against Bethany Saturday morning, SOU met conference foe College of Idaho six hours later. Ultimately, they fell 6-4 to the Yotes, setting up a win-or-go-home game on Monday.

Lauren Quirke got the start after Gabby Sandoval finished up the earlier game against Bethany. After a scoreless first, Quirke gave up a two-run no-doubter to Hattie Hruza giving the Yotes an early lead.

The Raiders would answer in the bottom half of the same inning, picking up a run on a throwing error. SOU would take the lead in the next inning on RBI singles from Riley Donovan and Tayler Walker, making it 4-2 Raiders headed into the fourth inning.

Gabby Sandoval replaced Quirke in the third inning, pitching out of a couple of jams. In the fourth, Hruza hit her second home run of the game, this one a solo shot to cut the Raiders lead in half.

Then disaster struck in the fifth.

With the bases loaded in the fifth and two outs, pinch hitter Hannah Mikel checked her swing but it blooped over the head of Hannah Shimek at second to score two runs and give College of Idaho the lead. Following that play, the Yotes ran a double steal and Hruza stole on home on the throw down to second.

The Yotes took and held a 6-4 lead for the remainder of the game, though the Raiders threatened late in the game. They left two runners on with one out in the seventh.

But the season is far from over for the defending national champions, the road to the championship game just has a few more turns now. In the double-elimination tournament, the Raiders will have to keep winning if they want to keep title defense hopes alive. Everyone is off on Sunday, so SOU won't play again until Monday at 10 am PT against 7-seed Mount Mercy. A win there would leave SOU two wins away on Tuesday to advance to the title bout.

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