CLACKAMAS, Ore. – No. 19 Oregon Tech used a three-run third inning in game 1 and held on for a 4-3 win in the opener, but the Owls would fall in the nightcap by an 11-3 score in a clash of the Cascade Conference’s top two teams, splitting today’s doubleheader with No. 25 Concordia University.
A sweep for the Owls today would have meant the Cascade Collegiate Conference regular-season championship, but now must win at least one game tomorrow versus Northwest University to clinch the regular-season title and host the CCC tournament championship next week. Oregon Tech is now 30-10 overall and holds a one game lead, and the tiebreaker, over Concordia in the CCC standings at 21-5. CU is 28-16 on the year and 20-6 in the conference standings.
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Game 1 – It took the Owls one time through the lineup before touching Cavalier starting pitcher McKenzie Marshall for three runs in the top of the third inning. Tori Weatherford drove in Shauna Collins for the game’s first run on a one out double to left field, also advancing McKenzie Shrum to third. Tre Sullivan grounded out to second base to plate Shrum and move Weatherford to third with the last run coming on an Alyssa Davis RBI single.
Concordia would also strike in their half of the third with a single run, as a Katie Aden RBI single made it 3-1 Tech after three complete. Concordia would keep the heat on in the fourth with a leadoff triple by Kate Santos turning into a run on a Cassidy Olson wild pitch. Mariah Jimenez followed with a single and Tech’s Rylee Carleton would replace Olson with no outs in the inning. With runners on first and second, after a Megan Malvick single, Carleton recorded a strikeout. After a CU walk to load the bases, Tech got out of the jam with a fly out to center field and when pinch runner, Merrit, attempted to tag up, was gunned down at the plate for the final out of the inning.
The Owls made it a 4-2 after Collins singled and moved to second on a stolen base. At third with two outs, Tre Sullivan singled to right field with a fly out ending the inning.
Concordia made things interesting in the fifth inning after three walks loaded the bases with two outs. Carleton, however, coaxed a pop up to second base to end the Cavalier threat. CU would go scoreless in the sixth before rallying in their last at-bat.
The Owls would hold the same 4-2 advantage after failing to score in the sixth and seventh innings. CU, however, would close to 4-3 on a Taylor Bussey one out solo homerun. A walk, followed by a single put runners on first and second, while a ground out to first base advanced the runners to second and third with two outs. Carleton, once again, worked out of a jam getting Rielly Byrd to strikeout to end game 1.
In 4.0 innings of relief Carleton earned the win and moves to 6-0 on the season. Carleton allowed four hits and one run while fanning four. Sullivan and Danielle Sayres recorded two hits each with Sullivan driving in two runs. Weatherford and Davis added a RBI each with Weatherford accounting for Tech’s only extra base hit.
Game 2 – The Owls trailed just 4-3 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, but a seven-run outburst by the Cavaliers ended the game at 11-3 due to the 8-run mercy rule.
Jessi Duncan suffered the loss falling to 14-4 in the circle. Sullivan and Davis tallied two hits each in the nightcap, while Weatherford drove in a pair of runs with Tasha Silvius adding a RBI. Shrum and Davis doubled for Tech with Weatherford blasting her ninth homerun of the season, a solo shot to center field in the fifth inning.
The Owls close out the regular season with a doubleheader versus Northwest University on Saturday at Cedar Park HS in Bothell, Wash. beginning at 11 a.m.