Lady Eagles beat TAMIU, fall to Lubbock Christian on season's final day
May 7, 2017
SAN ANTONIO (May 5, 2017) – A marathon softball season with a limited roster likely ended for Oklahoma Christian on Friday in the Heartland Conference Championship tournament.
Third-seeded OC held off fourth-seeded Texas A&M International 3-1 in the Lady Eagles' second elimination game in as many days, but came up empty offensively in another elimination game, falling 3-0 to second-seeded Lubbock Christian (Texas) at The Park at St. Mary's.
OC (33-23) wasn't in the most recent South Central Region rankings, meaning the Lady Eagles probably won't be in the eight-team regional field that will be announced on Sunday. But that they were even in that conversation after battling all season with just 11 available players – and only two seniors – was impressive nonetheless.
The Lady Eagles won at least 33 games for the third time in four seasons and firmly established themselves as one of the Heartland's top programs in the process.
Against TAMIU (19-35), OC scored a couple of early runs and rode the solid pitching of Madison Nordyke and Madison Hagood to the win. Niki Davidson doubled to left-center field and scored on Caitlin Young's single to right off TAMIU starter Delainy Thompson (12-16) in the second inning, and Bridget White singled home Haley Squier – who led off with a double to left – to put OC up 2-0 in the third.
The Dustdevils pulled within 2-1 in the fourth when Cassie Cannon tripled to lead off and came home on Robi Kami's infield single, but OC went back ahead by two runs in the bottom of the inning when Lacey Davidson doubled and scored on Sheridan Bond's sacrifice fly.
Nordyke (7-7) had eight strikeouts but exited after giving up a leadoff single in the seventh to TAMIU's Brandi Giles. Hagood – named before the tournament as the Heartland's pitcher of the year – retired the next three Dustdevils in order to record her sixth save of the season, tying the single-season school record set by Shea Coats in 2014.
Hagood's six saves also put her into a tie for second on the Heartland's single-season list. She now has eight in her career, ranking behind only Coats (10) on OC's all-time list.
Unfortunately for OC, its momentum didn't carry over into its second game in as many days against Lubbock Christian (37-17), as LCU pitcher Katera Eltsosie (20-5) threw a four-hit shutout, never allowing a runner past second base. Squier was the only OC player to have multiple hits, going 2-for-3 in her final collegiate game.
The Chaparrals broke through with two runs in the third inning against Hagood (16-12), with one run scoring on Lendzi Clemmer's single and another on a double steal, with Sydney Beuthien swiping home. LCU made it 3-0 in the fourth on Casey Ingram's RBI double to left field.
Texas A&M International game on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqvhHulh0lg
Lubbock Christian game on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D3DUxHv0gM