Grizzlies shine at districts

The Ashland High equestrian team snared three gold medals, three silvers and the sportsmanship award in the Southern District meet at the Jackson County Expo last week.

The Grizzlies won the working pairs and the team penning competitions and also earned the short program title — a program first.

Representing Ashland in the working pairs event were Amanda Steele and Kachina Rowland, while Emily Steele, Rowland and Amanda Steele teamed up to win the team penning event.

Also for the Grizzlies, Salina Piddington placed second in the working rancher event, Michele Kandaris took a silver in the steer daubing event and Piddington, Kandaris and Nitia Wheeler teamed up to place second in team penning.

"I am so proud of this team for how they present themselves, compete with intensity, handle adversity and support their fellow competitors," said third-year Ashland coach Todd Steele, who was voted coach of the year.

Next up for the Grizzlies is the state championships, May 14-17 at the Jackson County Expo.

College Softball

Southern Oregon senior leadoff hitter Strohm Fouty set the school record for stolen bases today as the Raiders split with Northwest Christian in Eugene.

The Raiders won the opener 6-4 and dropped the nightcap 1-0.

Southern Oregon is now 17-14 overall and 13-5 in Cascade Conference play. Northwest Christian is now 12-15 overall and 5-13 in league action.

The second-place Raiders will host three conference doubleheaders next week that will decide the Cascade Conference title. SOU hosts Oregon Tech on Tuesday, first-place College of Idaho Friday and Eastern Oregon Saturday to wrap up conference play.

Fouty had two stolen bases in the first game and one in the second game to push her season total to 34, eclipsing Kara Ray's 2005 total of 32.

In the opener, Karla Alvarez and Meghan Laughlin both doubled to help the Raiders jump out to a 3-0 lead.

The Raiders scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh to hold off Northwest Christian's late rally.

Laughlin finished with three hits and three RBI. Senior Ricci Coultas and Kathryn Moy both had two hits for SOU. Freshman pitcher Jordyn Kurtz picked up the win after striking out 11 batters.

In the second game, both teams struggled offensively before the Beacons broke through in the bottom of the seventh. A two-out single was all the home team needed to win the game.

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