Softball suffers conference series loss to TAMIU

Junior Madison Nordyke throws a pitch for the Lady Eagles. Photo by Jenny Rigney

Junior Madison Nordyke throws a pitch for the Lady Eagles. Photo by Jenny Rigney

In the top of the 11th inning, senior Niki Davidson hit a single towards center field to allow junior Sheridan Bond to score, allowing the Oklahoma Christian University softball team to open its three-game series over Texas A&M International University with a 5-3 win on Friday.

This victory marked Tom Heath’s 700th career win as the Oklahoma Christian head softball coach. Heath, who began coaching the Lady Eagles in 1995, joins only four other Oklahoma college softball coaches to catalogue 700 wins.

“It was awesome,” senior Haley Squier said. “In celebration of the honor, we want to make sure he knows that we appreciate everything he does.”

Traveling to Laredo, TX, to battle conference opponent Texas A&M International on Friday and Saturday, the Lady Eagles lost the series 1-2 to the Lady Dustdevils.

The first game on Friday opened with a quick 2-0 lead for the Lady Dustdevils. The Lady Eagles put together a single run by freshman Caitlin Young in the fifth inning. Sophomore Kaylie Upton’s home run in the sixth inning forced the tie for the Lady Eagles. Then, Bond earned a run in the seventh inning to give the Lady Eagles the 3-2 lead.

“Towards the end, it was a matter of cheering on our teammates and stringing hits together,” Squier said. “Once we got hits together and got some momentum, we were able to really work with that.”

Although the Lady Eagles gained momentum, as Squier said, their lead did not last long. The Lady Dustdevils tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning to send the game into extra inning play.

After three innings of scoreless action, the Lady Eagles scored two runs to earn the 5-3 victory over Texas A&M International.

Upton (7-1) recorded the win for the Lady Eagles from the pitcher’s mound, allowing only two hits from the Lady Dustdevils.

In the second game, Squier said both teams struggled to score runners early. The Lady Dustdevils earned a run in the fifth inning. Down 0-1, sophomore Bridget White hit a homerun in the sixth inning to force extra innings.

The Lady Dustdevils took advantage of a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat the Lady Eagles 2-1.

Junior Madison Nordyke (4-5) pitched for Oklahoma Christian, striking out three Lady Dustdevils in the loss.

Saturday, in the third game of the series, the Lady Eagles jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning. Sophomore pitcher Madison Hagood (9-7) allowed only three hits from the Lady Dustdevils, but those hits turned into three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Lady Eagles went on to suffer the loss 1-3.

With the loss, the Lady Eagles recorded a series loss to Texas A&M International, which put them tied for third place with the Lady Dustdevils in conference standings. As the Lady Eagles look to face conference foe Newman University this weekend, Squier said the team needs to find a way to bounce back against the Lady Jets.

“We need to remain strong as a team,” Squier said. “Against Newman, we need to refocus and play strong, like we want to win, and like we want to be there.”

The Lady Eagles will travel to Wichita, KS, for a three-game series on Friday and Saturday.

Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information office.

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