Despite battling a small roster and frigid temperatures, the Heartland Conference third-ranked Oklahoma Christian University softball team went 4-2 as it opened its 2017 season at the Southeastern Regional Invitational in Durant, OK, Feb. 3-5.
Friday, the Lady Eagles defeated Emporia State University in a run-ruled, 9-1 victory.
Emporia State scored first in the second inning, with the Lady Eagles quickly answering in the bottom of the second with sophomore Lacey Davidson’s first collegiate homerun, allowing sophomore Bridget White to also score. Up 2-1, the Lady Eagles increased the lead with a seven-run fifth inning. White closed the victory for the Lady Eagles on a solo homerun to increase the lead to nine runs, which forced a run-ruled end of the game.
Junior Madison Nordyke pitched for the Lady Eagles against Emporia State. Nordyke gave up eight hits and allowed one run.
This hitting performance continued for the Lady Eagles Friday afternoon against Midwestern State University. Despite allowing Midwestern State an early run in the first inning, the Lady Eagles managed to outscore the Lady Mustangs 5-3 for their second win of the tournament.
Lacey Davidson opened the scoring for Oklahoma Christian in the fourth inning when her two-run single allowed White and Niki Davidson to score. The Lady Mustangs scored in the bottom of the fourth off a homerun to right field to tie the game.
With a ground ball hit to second base in the sixth inning, Lacey Davidson’s hit brought senior Haley Squier in for the Lady Eagles. Also in the sixth, junior Sheridan Bond recorded two RBI’s when freshman Caitlin Young and sophomore Kayla Eichler both scored off Bond’s hit.
Sophomore pitcher Madison Hagood sat down five consecutive Lady Mustangs batters to close a 5-3 victory on Friday afternoon.
Saturday turned cold for the Lady Eagles. The team played two games in 20 to 30-degree wind chills. However, shortstop Lacey Davidson said the wind was no excuse for a poor performance on Saturday.
“We shouldn’t let the uncontrollable affect us as much as we did,” Lacey Davidson said. “On Saturday, the two games that we lost, it was super cold and I think that might have affected how we played.”
The Lady Eagles posted two runs in their two games, losing 1-5 to Rockhurst University and 1-2 to the University of Central Missouri.
On Sunday, the Lady Eagles bounced back with two wins over Missouri Southern State University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Eichler scored her first career homerun in the fourth inning, which also brought Lacey Davidson in to score. Following these two runs, the Lady Eagles were tied with the Lady Lions. Nordyke held Missouri Southern to zero runs for the remainder of the game. The Lady Eagles scored twice in the top of the sixth inning to win 5-3 over the Lady Lions.
Sunday afternoon, Southwestern Oklahoma jumped out to an early two-run lead in the top of the first inning. The Lady Eagles quickly answered, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first. Southwestern Oklahoma would only score three more runs in the next six innings. The Lady Eagles defeated the Lady Bulldogs 9-5.
Lacey Davidson said the key to a successful 2017 season is confidence.
“Confidence is going to be our biggest attribute to our success and not playing nervous,” Lacey Davidson said.
The Lady Eagles travel to Grand Prairie, TX, to play in the North Texas Softball Bash on Friday and Saturday.
Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information Office.