Beacons Sweep Lady Owls
EUGENE, Ore. – The Northwest Christian University softball team had an epic afternoon on Saturday, sweeping the Oregon Tech Owls, 2-1 in nine innings, and 8-3.
It was the first-ever sweep for the Beacons against the Owls as NCU improved to just 5-31 all-time against their foe from Klamath Falls. Oregon Tech drops to 11-7 in CCC play and 24-20 on the season. With the wins Northwest Christian (15-23, 5-11 CCC) also ties their conference win total from all of last season with eight games remaining.
Cassie Bishop broke through with her 26th and 27th RBIs of the season, setting a new single-season record for the Beacons. The junior also tied single-season records for extra-base hits (17) and total bases as she batted 1-for-6 with a double, two runs, and a pair of walks.
Both teams scored runs in the first inning of game one, but that would be the last scoring for either team for quite awhile as NCU would go on to play in only their second extra-inning game of the season, and their longest game in nearly 12 months. Not that NCU was without their opportunities earlier as both Jonni Byrne and Brooke Davis hit long fly balls, both of which were caught at the wall.
Finally, in the bottom of the ninth inning, Northwest Christian broke through. With one out, Bishop walked and Brittany Robles followed with a bunt attempt. The ball was fielded, but a throwing error put both runners on, at second and third. The Owls then intentionally walked Corrie Gustafson to load the bases and create a force at any base. The strategy failed to work because the very next hitter, freshman Kristen DeHaven, hit a sharp grounder to shortstop that was bobbled just long enough to allow Bishop to come in safely from third, ending the game.
Davis (7-13) went the distance for the Beacons, allowing one run on eight hits while striking out three batters. Mikey Eustance (8-8) also pitched a complete game for OIT, allowing just three NCU hits and no earned runs.
As the weather heated up in the afternoon for the second game, so too did the Northwest Christian bats. The Beacons finished the game with 15 hits, one shy of a school record, as they won 8-3.
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Beacons had their first six batters of the inning reach safely, and they went on to score six runs in the inning on six hits, taking a 7-2 lead. NCU added a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Byrne and Jenna Royce gave up an insignificant run in the seventh to close out the game. Royce (3-2) got the win for NCU, pitching the final four innings. The sophomore had four strikeouts and gave up just three hits to preserve the victory.
Davis and Lissa Hatefi had three hits apiece for the Beacons and Davis, Byrne and Bishop each recorded two RBI. Becca Lillegard went 2-for-4 and scored two runs and Dehaven batted 2-for-3 with a walk.
Oregon Tech was led by Andria Wheatley and Kayde Schaefer each chipping in two hits in the loss, including Schaefer's 6th Homerun of the season.
Oregon Tech will try and bounce back hosting No. 6 Concordia University on Saturday, April 24th at 11:00 am and Southern Oregon University Tuesday, April 27 at 2:00 pm.
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