CALDWELL, Idaho – Jessi Duncan’s no-hitter, to go with a six-run fifth inning, propelled No. 18 Oregon Tech to the championship game of the NAIA National Tournament’s Opening Round, as the Owls took out No. 5, and top-seeded, Cal State San Marcos by an 8-0 score today at Symms Field in Caldwell.
Oregon Tech moved to 35-12 on the season and next plays in tomorrow’s championship game beginning at 11 a.m. Tech’s opponent is yet to be determined. The Owls need only one more victory to move on to the NAIA Softball World Series held in Columbus, Ga. where 10 teams will vie for the NAIA National Championship on May 23rd– 29th.
Scoreless through three complete, two-seeded Oregon Tech made it a 1-0 game with a single run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Owls capitalized on back-to-back one out walks to Alyssa Davis and Sadie Birch. Pinch hitter Tasha Silvius lined a ball off the glove of the Cougars first baseman, resulting in an out at first base, but advanced both runners to second and third base. McKenzie Shrum next hit a ground ball to Cougar shortstop Melyssa Bellamy, who tossed the ball to third for the third out of the inning, however, Davis would cross home plate just prior to the tag out to give the Owls, what would account for, the winning run.
Tech would take control after recording a six-run fifth inning, as the Owls utilized seven hits, all singles, in the inning to move by a 7-0 score.
Danielle Sayres, Cassidy Olson and Tre Sullivan connected on back-to-back-to-back base hits to load the bases with one out. Sayres would be gunned down at the plate for the second out on a ground ball to shortstop. Davis next singled up the middle to make it a 3-0 contest with Sadie Birch following with a RBI single to left field. A single from Kayla Prock loaded the bases once again, and forcing CSSM starter Ashley Dagenais from the circle. Shrum next walked to make it 5-0, while Shauna Collins capped the scoring with a two-run single to center pushing the Owls out to a 7-0 lead.
Tech’s Jessi Duncan stayed sharp in the sixth after coaxing three-straight ground ball outs and moved to 17-5 after the Owls closed out the game via the 8-run mercy rule with a single run in the bottom half of the sixth inning.
Olson led off the inning with a double to center field with Sullivan following with a hit to left to put runners on the corners. After a ground out moved Sullivan to second, and Olson staying put, Davis drove in her third run of the game to end it by an 8-0 score.
Duncan struck out one and allowed just three base runners in her six inning no-hitter, as two Cougar hitter reached on walks and one hit by a pitch.
Davis led Tech’s 12-hit attack with a 3-for-3 effort at the plate and drove in three runs. Collins, Olson and Sullivan tallied two hits each with Collins knocking in two runs in the win. Sayres and Birch added a hit each with Birch adding a RBI and Shrum two for the Owls.