Second-seeded Eastern Oregon and third-seeded Great Falls both came away with two wins in the first day of the 2016 Cascade Collegiate Conference Softball Championship presented by U.S. Bank.
The double-elimination tournament continues tomorrow morning at 9 a.m., when Oregon Tech and Southern Oregon square off followed by Corban vs. Carroll. The loser of both games will be eliminated.
Great Falls and Eastern Oregon will battle to stay undefeated in the tournament tomorrow with first pitch set for 2 p.m.
Live stats can be followed throughout the tournament here: http://www.sidearmstats.com/sou/softball/xlive.htm
Game One: Eastern Oregon 7, Corban 1 (F/9)
Cheyenne Barker's screaming grand slam capped Eastern Oregon's seven-run rally in the ninth inning of Friday morning's 7-1 defeat of Corban in game one of the Cascade Conference Tournament at University Field.
With two outs in a scoreless game, the bottom of the Mountaineers' (26-21 overall) order finally opened the floodgates with four consecutive singles -- first from Shelby Baertsch and Maryssa Santi to set the table, then from Alex Shuster and Jorden Gerlach to drive them in. After Haley Hess walked and Taylor Turner reached on catcher's interference, Barker deposited Corban pitcher Jessica Holsinger's 170th pitch of the afternoon over the fence in center field.
Prior to the ninth inning, EOU had been 1-for-10 with runners on base. Corban had similar issues, stranding runners in scoring position in the second, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth innings.
EOU pitcher Hailey Kline (14-6) went the distance to earn the win, working around 10 hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
Game Two: Great Falls 3, Oregon Tech 2
Great Falls provided pitcher Keeley Van Blaricom with a first-inning lead and she made it stick Friday afternoon in the Argos' 3-2 upset of 23rd-ranked Oregon Tech in game two of the Cascade Conference Tournament at University Field.
Van Blaricom went all seven innings, allowed six hits and four walks and struck out three for the Argos (23-16 overall).
Owls pitcher Ann-Marie Guischer didn't allow a hit or a run over her final five innings of work but was tagged for three of each in the first. Hali Gruntowicz's RBI groundout scored the first run, Van Blaricom hit a sacrifice fly for the second and a Jackie Thomas double to center field plated the third.
Tara Moates drove in both runs for the Owls (27-19) with a triple and a single.
Game Three: Eastern Oregon 12, Southern Oregon 11
A momentary defensive lapse cost Eastern Oregon a seven-run lead and nearly Game 3 of the Cascade Conference Tournament against Southern Oregon, but the Mountaineers bounced back and slugged their way to a 12-11 victory Friday at University Field.
The Mountaineers (27-21) -- who defeated Corban earlier in the day in nine innings, 7-1 -- advanced to play at 2 p.m. Saturday against Great Falls for a spot in the championship round and an automatic bid to the national tournament.
After hitting a grand slam in the opener, Cheyenne Barker went 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored for the Mountaineers. Directly behind her in the order, Marisa Gonzalez was 3-for-4 with two runs. Shelby Baertsch went 3-for-5 with two doubles, three RBI and two runs, and Maryssa Santi had three more of EOU's 18 total hits.
The Mountaineers were shut out through the first eight innings of their opener before scoring seven in the ninth. They picked up where they left off on that front, scoring three in the first, six in the second and one more in the third. However, leading 10-4 in the fourth, they booted a two-out grounder with two on and committed a throwing error on the same play, allowing both runs to score. By the time the damage was done, the Raiders had tied the game.
Barker untied it in the bottom of the fourth with a lined RBI single to left, and Gerlach's bases-loaded walk in the fifth plated some insurance.
EOU tagged Raider pitcher Sydney White for seven runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. Prior to the outing, White was working on a string of 11 straight starts with two earned runs or less on her line.
Tyler Burke doubled twice, scored twice and drove in two runs for SOU. Jazmin Ruvalcaba added a two-run double in the Raiders' seven-run fourth inning.
Game Four: Great Falls 5, Carroll 3
Another fruitful first inning spurred Great Falls' second upset of the first day of the Cascade Conference Tournament -- a 5-3 win over Carroll on Friday evening at University Field that put the Argos one win away from an automatic bid in the national tournament.
The first three batters that came to the plate reached for Great Falls (24-18): Chloe Cross doubled, Mindy Larson walked and Alex Lowry doubled them both in. Keeley Van Blaricom added an RBI double and Kylie Prough an RBI single to make it 4-0 through the first inning.
Lowry's towering solo home run in the fifth, her fourth of the season, was the only other offense the Argos needed. Van Blaricom pitched the first three inning, allowing one run, and Shelby Abeyta surrendered two runs in the last four to secure the win. Abeyta also stranded Carroll's potential tying runs at second and third for the final two outs of the seventh.
2016 CCC Softball Tournament Schedule
Saturday, May 7
Game 5 @ 9 a.m. – Southern Oregon vs. Oregon Tech (loser eliminated)
Game 6 @ 11:30 a.m. – Corban vs. Carroll (loser eliminated)
Game 7 @ 2 p.m. – Eastern Oregon vs. Great Falls
Game 8 @ 4:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6 (loser eliminated)
Sunday, May 8
Game 9 @ 11 a.m. – Loser of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 8 (loser eliminated)
Game 10 @ 1:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 9 (championship)
Game 11 (30 minutes after completion of Game 10) – If necessary
Cascade Conference Sports Information