Photo by: Henoc Kivuye
The Oklahoma Christian softball team had a busy schedule in the past weeks, playing eight games over their “break.”
The Lady Eagles secured their spot as a top contender in the Heartland Conference by beating No. 2 ranked St. Edward’s University and sweeping Panhandle State University.
The weekend of March 9, the Lady Eagles loaded up for another weekend in Austin, Texas. This time, they would face conference foe St. Edward’s. Due to rainy weather, the Lady Eagles did not play their first of three games on Friday and instead played just two on Saturday. The weather turned out to not be much better and the teams had to play through the rain.
In the first matchup, senior Lindsy Moore pitched the entire game for the Lady Eagles and allowed five hits and two runs. Only two hits came from Oklahoma Christian, a single by junior Lauren Chatigny and a double by sophomore Kendra Pierce.
St. Edward’s took the first game, 2-0.
“We had a great pitching performance from Lindsy Moore during our first game against St. Edward’s,” assistant coach Jessica Ruckman said. “Unfortunately, we really struggled offensively hitting the ball and getting runners on base and couldn’t score any runs.”
In the second matchup, sophomore Taylor Mosher took the mound and allowed six hits and zero runs. Oklahoma Christian capitalized on five St. Edward’s errors and scored five runs. The Lady Eagles held the Hilltoppers to zero and finished the trip with a split.
Juniors Kala Ratliff, Lauren Pittman and Martha Thomas and senior Michelle Miller finished the game with one hit each.
“We came to the plate more aggressively the second game and were able to put the pressure on their defense, taking advantage of errors and getting more runners on base,” Ruckman said. “We had another great pitching outing from Taylor Mosher and our defense played excellent. Although we started off slow the first game, I’m proud of how the girls fought back to win the second game and come away with a split.”
On March 12, the Lady Eagles were scheduled to travel to Alva, Okla. for a rematch against Northwestern Oklahoma State, but due to poor field conditions the games were cancelled and will not be rescheduled.
On March 15, the Lady Eagles played their home games at the Hall of Fame Stadium against Panhandle State. The Aggies came into the match with a losing record, but proved to be tough competition.
Moore started on the mound for the Lady Eagles and allowed seven hits and three runs before she was relieved by freshman Danielle Collins, who allowed four hits and zero runs.
The Aggies led 3-1 until the fourth inning, when the Lady Eagles tied the game. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Aggies had runners on base ready to end the game when Panhandle State’s Brandi Heath hit a pop-up in the right-center gap. Junior Sarah Peoples made a diving catch, opening the door for the Lady Eagles to eventually go into a tiebreaker against the Aggies.
In the eighth inning, the Lady Eagles scored Pittman off of a single by Chatigny. Oklahoma Christian squeaked by in the first game, 4-3.
In the second game against the Aggies, the Lady Eagles wasted little time before they run-ruled the opposing team. Oklahoma Christian had a total of 16 hits in the second game: a grand slam from Pierce, a homerun from Thomas and three hits each added by Pittman, Peoples and sophomore Monique Elliot.
Sophomore Krystal Rodriguez pitched the entire game, allowing four hits and one run.
The third game of the series resulted in another win for the Lady Eagles at 3-0, rounding out a complete sweep for Oklahoma Christian.
Moore pitched the entire game, allowing only four hits. Peoples, Pierce, Ratliff and Thomas each had one hit. Ratliff also had two RBIs that helped the Lady Eagles breeze past the Aggies for the third time in a row.
“Every aspect was working for us: offense, defense, pitching and coaching,” Moore said. “We just need to find out how to keep working together every day. We need to just focus on winning every inning, and the outcome that we want will come.”
The next games for the Lady Eagles took place in Lawton, Okla. against Cameron University. Oklahoma Christian would pick up another split for their record after the two games.
In the first game against Cameron, the Lady Eagles got off to a quick start, scoring three runs in the first inning. The Cameron Aggies continued to score a little at a time and came back however, winning the game 8-7.
Despite 14 hits from Oklahoma Christian, their seven errors kept them from completing the win against the Aggies. Elliot and Pierce had three hits each, Chatigny, Starr and Thomas each had two and Ratliff and Miller each had one.
Oklahoma Christian went through three pitchers; Moore allowed four hits and six runs, Mosher allowed two hits and Collins allowed three hits and two runs.
In the second matchup the Lady Eagles got down to business, beating Cameron 8-5. Pierce and Peoples had two hits each while Chatigny, Starr, Thomas, Miller, Pittman and Ratliff each had one.
Rodriguez started on the mound for Oklahoma Christian, allowing four hits and four runs. Moore came in to finish the game, giving up three hits and one run.
With the help of Pierce’s homerun and two RBIs, the Lady Eagles came out of the trip with a split.
“The first game was a little rough, but we stayed in the game and never gave up,” Pierce said. “Our errors didn’t help us at all, but I’m glad that we didn’t stop scoring runs. Lindsy pitched really well the first game and came in and pitched well again for us in the second game. The second game was better, and we pushed through until the end again and we won.”
The last series for the Lady Eagles took place in Wichita, Kan. against Newman University. Oklahoma Christian came out of the three games with two wins.
In the first game against the Jets the Lady Eagles got off to a slow start as Newman University got on the board first with three runs. However, the Lady Eagles’ bats came alive in the second inning, and they crossed the plate 11 times. Oklahoma Christian won the first game due to mercy rule, 12-3.
Elliot, Pierce, Pittman and Thomas each recorded two hits. Starr, Ratliff, Peoples and Miller each had one.
Moore pitched the five-inning game, allowing five hits and three runs.
In the second matchup, the Jets once again took the lead in the first inning, but the Lady Eagles answered with five runs in the second. Oklahoma Christian won the second game, 6-3.
Thomas led the team with two hits. Chatigny, Starr, Pittman, Peoples and Miller added one each.
Rodriguez pitched the entire game and allowed eight hits and three runs.
Due to weather conditions, the third game of the series was moved to an indoor facility. With no prior experience playing indoors, the Lady Eagles could not quite get their offense going.
The Jets beat the Lady Eagles, 3-2. Oklahoma Christian ended the game with six hits. Elliot led the Lady Eagles with two, and Collins, Starr, Ratliff and Peoples each had one.
Moore started on the mound and allowed four hits and one run; Mosher allowed four hits and two runs and Rodriguez finished the game allowing no hits or runs.
The Lady Eagles will face the University of Central Oklahoma on Monday.