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Spring 2018 athletic wrap-up

After the conclusion of final exams last spring, Oklahoma Christian University athletics finished its 2017-18 season with many of the teams and athletes qualifying for the post-season.

Senior Landon Huslig won the NCAA Division II title in the 400-meter hurdles. His performance was voted, via Twitter poll, as the Most Outstanding Performance at a NCAA Division II Championship by a Great American Conference athlete or team. Huslig’s national title was the first by any athlete or team in GAC history.

The Oklahoma Christian softball team finished its season 32-25, falling short of winning a Heartland Conference title and finished second in the conference. Tying the longest game in Oklahoma Christian softball history, the Lady Eagles ended their season in the historic, thirteen-inning loss to Rogers State University, 5-4.

Pitcher/utility player Kaylie Upton was named OklahomaSportsnet’s Co-Player of the Year, a list made up of the best athletes from the 11 NCAA Division II programs in Oklahoma.

Both Upton and outfielder Kayla Eichler made the All-OSN first team list, and three additional Lady Eagles, first baseman Madison Nordyke, second baseman Bailey Strecker and pitcher Madison Hagood received second-team honors.

Eichler, Nordyke, Upton, and Bridget White were all named on the All-Heartland Conference First Team. Hagood and Strecker were named on the All-Heartland Conference Second Team.

Now retired softball coach Tom Heath was also honored, receiving the Oklahoma Division II coach-of-the-year award, making it his fifth in his career at Oklahoma Christian. Heath ended his time at Oklahoma Christian with a 744-518-1 record.

The Oklahoma Christian baseball team completed its season with a 22-27 record and failed to reach post-season play. During their final game of the season, senior Jake Collins capped a six-run rally to beat Rogers State 6-5.

Collins and outfielder Hunter Markwardt were named to the All-OSN Oklahoma Division II baseball teams. Collins was also named to the Division II Conference Commissioners Association’s All-South Central Region second-team honor list at the utility/pitcher position.

Markwardt was Oklahoma Christian’s only honoree named to the All-Heartland Conference baseball team and shortstop Kyle Bottger earned recognition to the league’s all-defensive team.

“I feel that we have a lot to improve on this year, and even though we have a very young team, I have high expectations and I feel like we have a lot to prove in the Heartland Conference,” said Markwardt.

Senior Kate Goodwin had a season to remember, finishing her junior year by winning the NCAA Division II West Super Regional for the Lady Eagle’s golf team. This qualified her to play in the Division II Championship at Bay Oaks Country Club. Goodwin earned All-South Central Region first-team honors. Throughout the summer, Goodwin continued to compete at a high level, winning both the Dallas Collegiate Championship and an event on the South Central PGA Players Tour.

Oklahoma Christian had 54 student-athletes named as recipients of the Division II Athletics Directors Association Academic Achievement Award for the 2017-18 school year.

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