Ashland community celebrates SOU softball’s historic championship title

ASHLAND, Ore. — Southern Oregon University’s softball team won the NAIA championship on May 29 and on Monday, nearly a week later, the team celebrated at home with the Ashland community.

SOU softball player Morgan Jones says they started this season off with the mindset, ‘Natty is Now.’

“Really what it means is what we’re doing now, were preparing for nationals,” Jones said.

She’s a senior at SOU and has been on the softball team for the last two years. Last year, the team placed third in the NAIA Championship, but they said that wasn’t good enough. This season they set their goal, along with their mindset, on getting the gold.

“Last year we got so close,” Jones said. “That just lit a fire in us to really do it this year and really give it all we got.”

The championship game was against Oklahoma City University. The Raiders lost their first against the team, but the day, in the ‘winner-take-all’ game, they came to take the hold. One player on the Raiders team hit a grand slam, making the score 4-0, and ultimately led them to victory.

“When we won we just celebrated and we just loved on each other and just really took in the moment because we may never get that moment back again,” SOU softball player, Tayler Walker, said.

Coming home with the trophy isn’t the only accomplishment. This win will go down in history as the first women’s sports team at SOU to win a national title.

“We worked every day, put our head down, gave 100 percent every day and it’s just crazy to see how we finished this year,” Jones said. “We knew we were all capable of it, it’s just crazy that it actually happened.”

SOU athletic’s director Matt Sayre says it’s not only an incredible win for the school but an inspiring moment for other SOU athletes.

“The whole department sees this and feels that momentum and all the programs will feel a rise from this,” Sayre said.

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