Southern Oregon clips Stars

OCU Athletics
Rich Tortorelli, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Southern Oregon outlasted Oklahoma City University 4-2 on Monday night at Killian Sports Complex in the NAIA Softball World Series.

Third-ranked Oklahoma City (59-7) will take on the winner between Georgia Gwinnett and USAO at 2 p.m. CDT Tuesday. Tayler Walker hit a fifth-inning home run to give Southern Oregon a two-run lead.

Southern Oregon advanced to the national championship game needing one win to take the title. The World Series schedule has been revamped due to the threat of unfavorable weather. Tuesday’s games begin at noon CDT when top-ranked USAO faces Georgia Gwinnett. The national championship game has been moved to a 9 a.m. first pitch Wednesday. An if-necessary game would follow.

Walker had an RBI single to put the fourth-ranked Raiders (51-7) on top 2-0 in the first inning. Lauren Quirke’s triple to left-center field drove in the first run of the game in the first.

Morgan McCallum ripped a home run beyond the left-field wall leading off the fourth inning to score the Stars’ first run of the game. McCallum hit her seventh homer of the year.

OCU tied the game when Julianne Abeloe reached home plate on third baseman Lauren Quirke’s throwing error that skipped into first-base foul territory.

Southern Oregon regained the lead when Mackenzie Evangelisti came home on Avery Morehead-Hutsell’s ground ball in the fourth.

Gabby Sandoval limited OCU to two runs, one earned run, on five hits and three walks in a complete-game outing. Sandoval (35-3) struck out four while registering 141 pitches. Sandoval escaped a bases-full situation in the second inning. The Stars had two runners on with none out in the sixth.

Jaden Shores took the loss. Shores (31-5) gave up her first run of the World Series in the first after keeping opponents scoreless through 14 innings in World Series play. Shores, a junior from Blanchard, Okla., picked up her first loss since April 19 against USAO in Oklahoma City. Since then, Shores accumulated nine wins in 12 appearances until Monday.

McCallum, a junior from Mesquite, Texas, went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Abeloe, a senior from Santa Paula, Calif., contributed a 1-for-2 showing with a run scored.

Southern Oregon ended the Stars’ 15-game winning streak.

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