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The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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Back-to-Back Losses Break Winning Streak

USAO drops top ten showdown against OLLU
In+a+game+last+season%2C+Malea+McMurtrey+throws+her+glove+down+in+an+attempt+to+tag+out+a+MACU+runner%2C+while+teammate+Sierra+Selfridge+backs+up+the+play.
Laura Barrios Bardi
In a game last season, Malea McMurtrey throws her glove down in an attempt to tag out a MACU runner, while teammate Sierra Selfridge backs up the play.

The #6 NAIA-ranked USAO softball team (4-2, 0-0 SAC) made another trip to Texas to play a doubleheader against the #7 NAIA-ranked Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) Saints (10-1, 0-0 RRAC) Saturday, Feb. 17. 

The first inning of game one started with both teams’ defenses leaving the batters cold without any runs. Senior centerfielder Macenzie Ruth attempted to score a run as she singled to the Saints’ pitcher. During that play sophomore Malea McMurtrey stole second, but OLLU secured their third out and sent the Drovers back to their dugout. USAO’s defense kept the Saints in check as freshman leftfielder Jordan Ramsay caught two lineouts and junior first baseman Shaylann Grace caught a foul out, keeping the game scoreless at 0-0. 

The Drovers fired up their bats in the second inning as junior pitcher Sophie Williams hit a single up the middle, followed by junior second baseman Sierra Selfridge’s single and Grace’s hit by pitch that loaded the bases. An error by the Saints’ shortstop enabled Ramsay to reach first base and Williams to run home. This play scored the lone run for the Drovers to take a 1-0 lead. However, the Saints fought back in the bottom with a single run batted in to tie the game at 1-1. 

An uphill battle for the Drovers emerged by the third inning as the Saints’ defense overpowered the batters without any further runs. USAO’s freshman catcher Leighanne Eaton’s single hit advanced her to second and third base, but two fly outs and a strikeout left Eaton on base. The Saints capitalized on USAO’s scoreless inning with a homerun to left field that left the Drovers trailing at 2-1. Williams earned her first strikeout and a play by Selfridge prevented any further runs in the third.  

A defensive stalemate went on for the next four innings as neither team scored a run for the rest of the game. USAO’s defense continued to bottleneck the Saints’ hitters as a hit flew out to Ruth and McMurtrey caught a grounder and a pop-up in the fourth. Williams struck out two more batters in the fifth, and Ruth snagged two more fly-outs in the sixth. The Drovers refused to drop the game by substituting three players in the seventh inning where Ramsay hit a single but with no run to follow up. The Drovers lost 2-1, giving them their first loss of the season. 

The second game started unfavorably for USAO in the first inning as McMurtrey was caught stealing, which lead to zero runs offensively. The Saints then managed to sneak a grounder and a single hit past freshman pitcher Jadyen Anderson, which left USAO trailing 2-0. 

The next three innings were uneventful for USAO’s batting squad, while the Saints increased their lead with a single run crossing home plate in the second bringing the score to 3-0. Anderson did not let down the Drovers as she struck out a batter in the second, and two more in the third inning.  

As USAO’s batters tried to find their groove, their fielders had their backs as they continued to pour water on the fiery hot OLLU bats in the fourth inning. McMurtrey caught a grounder, and freshman first baseman Kenzi Williams had a pop-up in her glove. However, the Saints responded by batting in a single run, leaving the Drovers to trail 4-0. 

After a long drought of runs, the bats awakened in the fifth inning when sophomore third baseman Jadyn Goucher stepped up to the plate to hit her first homerun of the season. Soon after that powerful hit, the batters reached the bases one-by-one beginning with Selfridge’s single up the middle, sophomore Jaylee Willis pinch ran for her. That hit was followed by an error on OLLU’s shortstop which lead Grace to first. Senior catcher Addison Willis then hit a grounder that signaled Willis to slide home for the Drovers’ second run of the day. As the Saints continued their onslaught with two more runs, sophomore Abi Gregory relieved Anderson of her pitching duty for the rest of the game. 

USAO lagged behind OLLU for the final two innings as they searched for any opportunity to turn the game around, but the Saints’ strong offense led to USAO’s second straight loss of the season with a score of 7-2. 

The circle crew combined for seven strikeouts and walked six batters. Anderson struck out the most batters with four, allowed eight hits, and walked three batters. Gregory threw the highest percentage of strikes with 70%, followed by Williams with 64.5% and Anderson with 62.7%. Williams played 6 innings, while Anderson played 4.2 innings and Gregory played 1.1 innings. 

As for the batting squad, McMurtrey, Selfridge, and Eaton led with two hits each, though none of them led to a run. Three Drovers scored a run in the doubleheader with Goucher scoring a homer, Willis on a single RBI, and Williams with a single hit. The team struck out 14 times across both games. 

USAO will return to Bill Smith Ballpark for their home opener against Wayland Baptist University (WBU). They will begin the first doubleheader of their four-game series Friday, Feb. 23 at 4 p.m., then the day will wrap up with game two at 6 p.m. The final two games will be Saturday, Feb. 24 at noon and 2 p.m. 

 

Jordan Prewitt is a fourth-year English major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributors
Jordan Prewitt, Contributing Writer
Jordan is a fourth-year English major from Stillwater. He graduated from the Information Technology program at Meridian Technology Center in 2019.   Experience with The Trend: Contributing Writer: Oct. 2023 - present
Laura Barrios Bardi, Contributing Photographer
Laura Barrios Bardi a third-year art major from El Paso, TX. Laura currently works for USAO's Sports Information Department as a photographer. She is also a member of USAO's track and field team. Her hobbies include stargazing, spending time with friends, and working towards elevating her photography skills.   Experience with The Trend: Contributing Photographer: Nov. 2022 - present