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Eagle baseball and softball in midst of playoff push

Oklahoma Christian University’s baseball and softball teams are entering a postseason push with only a month remaining in the regular season. 

Oklahoma Christian softball entered the 2022 season with new head coach Shalee Rodriguez. They currently sit first in the South Central region and second in the Lone Star Conference, just behind first place University of Texas at Tyler. The Division II national poll has the Eagles at No. 14 with a 32-8 overall record and 10 games remaining. 

Junior Tristyn Hamilton spoke on expectations entering the season.

“We always have high expectations for ourselves and it has been that way since I got here,” Hamilton said. 

The softball team is currently riding an 18-game win streak since their last loss against Angelo State on March 5. Pitching has carried them all season, and they rank first in the conference in opponent batting average and second in earned run average as a team. They are holding opponents to a .207 batting average led by Kali Crandall, who has pitched in 25 games this season posting a 2.21 ERA and 90 strikeouts.

Aliyah Brown leads the team in hitting with a .449 average, earning her fourth in the entire conference. Kylie Janzen leads the team in home runs with 7.

Oklahoma Christian will play five more double headers before moving into the postseason, including a double header against first place University of Texas at Tyler on Friday, April 22 in Tyler, Texas. The two teams are currently tied in terms of conference record with Tyler holding the edge on overall record at 34-4.

“We are looking to finish the season strong and ride this win streak as long as we can,” Hamilton said. “I think we are playing better than we have all season long, so our confidence is high and I am excited to see what this team can do as the season winds down.”

Oklahoma Christian baseball had a rough start to the season, only winning six games in their first four series. The Eagles have started playing better as of late, coming off a 4-game sweep of University of Texas Permian Basin and riding a 7-game win streak, which puts them in playoff contention.  

The offense, which was considered the team’s strength, has struggled to get going for the majority of the season, only hitting .272 as a team for 11th in the conference. Yet, in the last five games, the Eagles have scored 84 runs, including a 28-run performance on April 3 against Cameron.

Senior Tanner White spoke on where the team sits entering the final two weeks of the season.

“We certainly did not start how we wanted, and we put ourselves in a position where we were playing catch up,” White said. “But the bats are starting to heat up and our pitching staff is putting us in a great position to win games.”

The Eagles currently sit seventh in the Lone Star Conference with a 18-22 record, putting them in a playoff spot with eight scheduled games remaining. Senior Cole Lee said the team is playing their best at just the right time.

“I think we were all disappointed with how we began the season,” Lee said. “But we’re starting to play like we know we can and the number one goal is just getting into the playoffs to give ourselves a chance.”  

Lee said he feels like they could be dangerous as a lower seed in the Lone Star Conference Tournament.

“How we played to start the season just isn’t us,” Lee said. “If we can just continue to play good ball and get in, we are going to be dangerous if we play how we can.”

Eagle softball is in action at home versus Northwestern Oklahoma State on Wednesday, April 13 for a double header. 

Baseball travels to Tyler, Texas, for a 4-game set against University of Texas at Tyler before coming home for the final series of the season.

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