Selfridge Ends Extras with a Walk-Off


Laura Barrios Bardi

The Drovers emptied their dugout to celebrate with Sierra Selfridge after her game-winning at bat against OCU.

Preston Palm, Contributing Writer

Tuesday night featured one of the season’s biggest matchups for USAO’s softball team (19-7, 9-1 SAC), who came into the two-game series ranked #8. The Drovers faced the #6 ranked Oklahoma City University (OCU) Stars (18-6, 5-1 SAC). USAO came into this series riding a nine-game winning streak that started on March 6th. The competition was high level, and it showed on the field in both games.

Game one began with tensions running high, as USAO’s commentator, Danny Henderson mentioned on the broadcast that these two teams usually battle it out for the title of conference champions and other post-season titles. The level of play was high, both offensively and defensively, as neither team scored until the fifth inning. OCU struck first, scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning. In a game where runs are hard to come by, the first team to score can take much momentum off that first run.

USAO needed something big to put themselves in a position to win. The Drovers got that big moment in the bottom of the fifth with a homerun by Jaycee Kievit. Following the homerun, Kiviet once again put USAO in a position to succeed, hitting a single in the bottom of the sixth that led to a run from Sierra Selfridge which tied the game. The game was tied 2-2 through seven innings, both teams showing that they are among the elite in the SAC. At the top of the eighth inning, the coaches agreed to utilize an international tiebreaker, which meant that the last batter out started at second base. This put the defense at a disadvantage with a runner already in a scoring position. With a sac fly to centerfielder, Macenzie Ruth, the winning run rounded third and safely made it home. This run put OCU up 3-2, which the Drovers could not respond to in time.

The second game of the series started off faster than the first did. This time it was USAO who scored first, with a single homerun by Jadyn Goucher in the bottom of the second inning. Neither team could score in the third inning as USAO kept their lead of 1-0. The fourth inning was crucial for OCU. At the top of the inning, the Stars evened the game at 1-1 off a homerun. A significant momentum swing in favor of the Stars. With the game knotted at 1-1 from the top of the fourth through the seventh, not without controversy, though.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Goucher sent a ball to the fence, but it was robbed by OCU’s centerfielder. This play was one that kept OCU in the game, gave them the momentum, and created a tense environment on the field and in the stands. It felt like one play could change everything. For the second time Tuesday night extra innings were needed. The Stars struck first and in a big way, scoring two runs at the top of the eighth off a single, giving OCU the 3-1 lead. The Drovers responded though. Malea McMurtrey singled and was able to advance to second base due to an error. With McMurtrey advancing to second, the Drovers were able to tie the game at 3-3 with runs from Ruth, who singled to left field, and Jaylee Willis, who was placed on second for the international tiebreaker. The game was tied at the bottom of the eighth inning. The OCU pitcher intentionally walked two of USAO’s power hitters, Jaclyn Gray and Goucher, to put another strong hitter, Selfridge at the plate. With bases loaded and one out, Selfridge had a lot of pressure weighing on her shoulders. With two strikes, Selfridge hammered a ball right back to OCU’s pitcher who committed an error. This error gave USAO’s baserunners enough time to all advance 60 feet safely. USAO won the second game with a score of 4-3.

In the first game, Sophie Williams toed the rubber across eight innings. In that time, she struck out five batters, walked three, and allowed three runs off eight hits. Williams threw 115 pitches with 78 of them being strikes. For game two, Abi Gregory, SAC Pitcher of the Week for three consecutive weeks, pitched for the Drovers. Gregory also struck out five batters, walked one, and allowed three runs off five hits. She threw 125 pitches with 74 of the pitches being strikes.

A new set of rankings were published Wednesday morning, which ranked USAO at #9 in the coaches poll. The Drovers will face off against SAGU in a four-game series starting Friday, March 24th at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and extend into Saturday, March 25th with games at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. at Bill Smith Ballpark in Chickasha.


Preston Palm is a second-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.