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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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Drovers Demolish TWU in Series Sweep

Laura Barrios Bardi
Shortstop Malea McMurtrey makes a throw across the infield to get a runner out at first.

The #6 NAIA-ranked USAO softball team (28-7, 19-5 SAC) fought a four-game conference series against the Texas Wesleyan University (TWU) Rams (19-15, 12-10 SAC) at Bill Smith Ballpark, which began Friday, Apr. 5. The Drovers were able to hold out in their first battle, where they won 4-3. USAO went into the second game, where they won by a comfortable margin of 6-2. The final two games of the series were played Saturday, Apr. 6th.  


Game 1: 

USAO started the second day with a bang in the first inning. Junior pitcher Sophie Williams wasted no time striking out her first batter, along with quick fielding plays from sophomore shortstop Malea McMurtrey and sophomore second baseman Jadyn Goucher that left the Rams motionless.  

The Drovers then saw their bats get red hot with senior centerfielder Macenzie Ruth and McMurtrey going on a base-stealing robbery. The heist succeeded when freshman catcher Leighanne Eaton smacked the ball out of the park to earn her seventh home run of the season and three trips home. A passed ball and single led Goucher to second, followed by another single up the middle from Williams that added an extra run to an already stellar performance, leaving the game 4-0 after the first inning.  

The second inning was another display of quick defense. Rams’ pitcher Abbie Bird tried to sneak a hit past Williams. This was to no avail though, after two strikeouts turned the dugout over to USAO. Ruth doubled to the left, and McMurtrey assisted her again with a single that led Ruth to another run home. Although a ground out and fly out left McMurtrey without a follow-up run, USAO led TWU 5-0. 

At the top of the third, USAO foiled another attempt from TWU to score any runs. Just like the previous inning, the defense denied further action after a single hit, followed by Williams delivering another dugout-switching strikeout. The bats continued their hot streak, with Goucher hitting a triple to right field. A single from Williams allowed Goucher to score the sixth run of the game. Freshman pinch runner Kinzie Williams plotted another base robbery by stealing second and third, then sophomore right fielder Kamryn James sacrificed a fly out to reward K. Williams a run for the Drovers, now leading the Rams 7-0. 

The fourth inning showcased Williams leaving the Rams cold again as she consecutively struck out the three batters. Just when it seemed the Rams were giving USAO a taste of their medicine, Goucher proved them wrong by hitting her eighth home run of the season. After a sequence of a shortstop error and pinch running, freshman right fielder Jordan Ramsay kept the momentum going. Ramsey batted to right field, which allowed Williams to score an insurance run for USAO. The Drovers were comfortably on top with a 9-0 lead.  

Just before the fifth inning kicked off, freshman pitcher Jayden Anderson relieved Williams of her duty. The Rams continued to be skunked at USAO’s defense, as they could not follow up their single hit before junior first baseman Sierra Selfridge closed the game with a ground out and a 9-0 mercy rule win for the Drovers. 


Game 2: 

USAO locked the game in their favor right from the first inning. After starting off the inning with an error, sophomore pitcher Abi Gregory thwarted the Rams’ efforts with her first strikeout and a ground out from TWU first basemen Bird. Once the Drovers shifted to the batter box in the bottom of first, Ruth doubled to left field. With the aid of Selfridge’s single to left field, Ruth promptly zipped across the diamond to score USAO’s first run. Goucher continued the momentum with a right-field single that scored Selfridge the second run for the Drovers. A third single through the left side from James led Goucher to their third trip across home to close out the inning. 

The Drovers kept the Rams chargeless without a run as sophomore first baseman Triniti Cotanny and Goucher demonstrated defensive prowess with their plays. Gregory followed their efforts by striking out her second batter. Going back to the Drover offense, Ramsay was caught stealing second after the shortstop’s error. However, Ruth got back on her feet to capitalize on another error and a passed ball, which saw Ruth score another trip home for USAO. This run made the game in the Drover’s favor 4-0 after two innings of action.  

TWU still showed no sign of life as each of their batters flied out to USAO’s fielders. After Eaton stepped up to the plate to hit a single to left field, Goucher’s double to the center advanced her to third. James strategically sacrificed a grounder to first base to complete Eaton’s play and increased the lead to 5-0 over the Rams. 

All action rose to a climax in the fourth inning as the Drover’s defense held strong. USAO’s fielders continued their jobs fending the Rams away from their unharmed lead, as McMurtrey, senior catcher Addison Willis, and Ramsay kept TWU from scoring their first run of the day. The batting squad went back to business for a run parade, which was kicked off by a single up the middle from Ruth. A Rams fielding error led to McMurtrey scoring her and Ruth back-to-back runs. After Selfridge walked, sophomore pinch runner Isabela Portillo took first base. Eaton followed Portillo after another error and passed ball. A fielder’s choice in Goucher’s favor led to another run, followed by Willis’ single to the center, triggering another double run that pumped up the Drovers’ dugout. Goucher and Eaton ran across home plate to give USAO an impenetrable 10-0 lead over TWU. 

The fifth inning was another display of USAO’s fielders commandeering the Rams away from home plate. TWU Designated player Kaylee Ramirez attempted to take advantage of an error by Goucher to reach first, but it didn’t matter as a double play from Graham and Selfridge took out two baserunners. One last flyout caught by Ruth closed the game 10-0, concluding the day on back-to-back mercy rule victories and a four-game sweep for USAO. 

The pitching staff managed to leave the Rams dormant, as they combined for nine strikeouts and five batters walked. Williams struck out the most batters with seven, gave up two hits, and walked one batter. Gregory struck out two batters, gave up three hits, and walked four batters. Williams threw the highest percentage of strikes with 66.7%, followed by Anderson with 56.3% and Gregory with 55.8%. Gregory toed the most rubber with 5.0 innings, while Williams pitched 4.0 and Andeson pitched 1.0 innings. 

The batting squad was led by Goucher and Ruth both with five hits each. Between the two games, the Drovers scored 19 runs. 

USAO will be on the road for a four-game conference series against Langston University (LU) starting Friday, Apr. 12 at 2 p.m. with the second game following afterwards. The teams will play again Saturday, Apr. 13 at 1 p.m. and 3 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
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