Softball Swipes Three Victories in Home Opener (Photo Essay)

Jadyn Goucher shows her excitement after shooting a ball into the outfield for a double.

Emily Loughridge, Editor-in-Chief

USAO’s softball program (5-3) hosted their first home games of the season this weekend. Cottey College (5-3) and Missouri Baptist University (MBU) (7-3) both travelled from Missouri to take on the Drovers.

The Drovers started the weekend with a 7-0 win over the Comets. The game started slow, with both teams picking up their first hits in the second inning. The third inning kept its slow pace, with USAO leaving two runners in scoring position. The bottom of the fourth is where the Drovers found their footing and finally found themselves on the board.

The scoring began when Sierra Selfridge doubled to the right side of the field, which brought in two runners. It continued when Tyler Trott singled to bring in Selfridge. USAO continued to make their way onto the bases with Slater Eck and Sophie Williams. Macenzie Ruth singled right up the middle to bring another Drover home, making the score 4-0. Two additional Drovers made it across home plate on a passed ball. The final scoring play of the inning came from Jadyn Goucher singled to bring Malea McMurtrey in. The scored stayed at 7-0, in favor of the Drovers, through the remaining three innings.

Williams pitched all seven innings, in which she allowed zero runs off three hits. She struck out six batters by throwing nearly 64% strikes from the rubber. For the Droves, they had seven runs off nine hits. Jaclyn Gray, Eck, and Goucher all earned two hits. Other hits came from Ruth, Selfridge, and Trott.

USAO took on Cottey College again to end the night. The game stretched all seven innings and ended with a score of 8-2, favoring the Drovers. Cottey College got an early jump over the Drovers by scoring in the top of the first. With a few well-timed hits, the Comets scored their only two runs of the game.

The Drovers brought one runner around the bases in the bottom of the first. Goucher tripled up the middle in the bottom of the third to score another Drover. Kylie Milanic also singled to bring another runner home, and give USAO a 3-2 lead. To round out the scoring in the third inning, Trott sent a ball over the fence for a homerun. The fourth inning was the last inning of scoring, in which the Drovers brought three more runners in. The last few runs where due to a double from Milanic and another from Selfridge.

Abi Gregory toed the rubber in this second game of the night. Gregory allowed two runs off five hits. Across seven innings, she struck out 11 batters with an almost 58% strike rate. USAO’s offense came from eight runs off 14 hits. Milanic lead with three hits. Eck, McMurtrey, and Selfridge followed closely with two hits each.

Saturday afternoon wrapped up the weekend for Drover softball with a game against MBU. USAO run-ruled MBU in six innings with a final score of 12-4. USAO kicked-off the scoring column in the bottom of the first inning. Ruth singled to bring Eck home, and Goucher continued the momentum with a double to left field to bring two more runs in.

The Drovers took their 3-0 lead into the second, where Goucher shot a homerun over the left field fence. This boosted USAO’s lead to 8-0 before MBU found their way onto the board in the top of the third. MBU’s Shelby Sievers four-run homerun cut USAO’s lead in half, but that’s where their scoring run ended. In the third and fourth innings, the Drovers added four more runs to the board before the umps called a run rule.

Williams spent six innings in the circle where she gave up four runs off five hits. Williams found a groove on the rubber, where she struck out ten batters by throwing almost 68% strikes

USAO’s softball will be back on their home field for two games Friday February 24th against Texas Wesleyan University starting at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. The Drovers will continue to Saturday afternoon, where they will play two games against Our Lady of the Lake University starting at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.


Emily Loughridge is a second-year Communication majot at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.