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

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

The Trend

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Four-Time SAC Champions!

Laura Barrios Bardi
Sophie Williams was recently crowned SAC Pitcher of the Year for the second year in a row after her incredible season.

The #2 seed USAO softball team (44-7, 31-5 SAC) battled the #1 seed Oklahoma City University (OCU) Stars (51-3, 35-1 SAC) in the SAC Championship game Sunday, May 5. The matchup was in Yukon, Okla. The Drovers had an opportunity to earn their fourth SAC Championship.  

The first inning saw promise for USAO as sophomore shortstop Malea McMurtrey made it to first after an error from OCU. Following a strikeout from the Drovers, junior first baseman Sierra Selfridge hit a double that allowed McMurtrey to turn on the jets and run home. The Stars were able to keep USAO off the scoreboard for the rest of the first inning. The Drover defense was spectacular to kick off the bottom of the first inning, as junior pitcher Sophie Williams led the way by striking out two Stars. At the end of the first, USAO held a lead of 1-0.  

The second inning did not have any offensive success from either team as they did not record a single hit. The third inning was different though, as the Drovers were able to put another run on the board. McMurtrey had some more baserunning for USAO as her bunt allowed her to make it back on first. A wild pitch from OCU allowed McMurtrey to sprint toward second. The Stars struck out the next two batters for USAO, but this did not phase sophomore second baseman Jadyn Goucher. She hit a line drive down the left field line, which McMurtrey dashed home. Goucher stole another base after this run but was unable to make it home after a pop-up from S. Williams was caught. After three innings, the Drovers led 2-0 in the SAC Championship.  

The Stars defense kept the offense from the scoreboard for the next three innings with the Drovers only recording one hit during the fourth inning. USAO’s defense also did a similar performance though, as S. Williams put on a clinic with her arm. The fourth inning saw her strike out two more Stars, with another three being struck out in the fifth inning. The sixth inning added another strikeout for S. Williams as well. USAO only allowed one hit from OCU during these three innings and was in the driver’s seat 2-0 heading into the final inning.  

The seventh inning awoke the offenses of both teams, with sophomore third baseman Taygan Graham beginning the action. Graham hit a single to center field and had freshman pinch-runner Jordan Ramsey run for her. McMurtrey added another hit for the team as she singled up the middle. After this, the Stars made a pitching change, which looked to be a bad decision for them shortly after. Sophomore pinch hitter Triniti Cotanny was hit by a pitch and was replaced by senior centerfielder Macenzie Ruth to run for her.  

With the bases loaded, Selfridge looked to bring home her teammates and increase her team’s lead. After a fielding error from OCU, Selfridge made it to first. More importantly, Ramsey was able to make it home due to the error and put the Drovers up 3-0 going into the bottom of the seventh inning.  

The Drovers made substitutions at centerfield and third base for their defense. The game looked to be over after two OCU batters fouled out from their bats. However, S. Williams hit a Star with her pitch. This bad luck followed on the next at-bat, with a single to centerfield turning into a run for OCU. S. Williams didn’t allow OCU to play any more offense though as she struck out the last batter for the Stars. This strikeout gave USAO the win 3-1 and crowned them the SAC Champions.  

The Drover’s batting crew saw McMurtrey lead the way as she went 2-4 on her batting opportunities and led the team with two runs. Overall, USAO saw six hits and two walks as the Stars only amassed two hits and one walk.  

The pitching crew only featured S. Williams for the game, which was all the Drovers needed for the game. She was able to strike out 11 batters and improved her season record to 26-4.  

After winning their second consecutive SAC Championship, the Drovers will wait for the NAIA Selection Show Tuesday, May 7 to see who their next competition will be.  

Their next tournament will be the NAIA Softball National Championship which will begin with the opening round Monday, May 13 through Thursday, May 16. The championship tournament will be in the Drover’s favor, as it is being held at Bill Smith Ballpark in Chickasha, Okla. 


Gary Jackson is a fourth-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributors
Gary Jackson
Gary Jackson, Managing Editor
Gary is a fourth-year communication major from Kingston. He works as a resident assistant (RA). Gary began writing for The Trend in January 2022, and has interned with the Madill Record and Marietta Monitor newspapers. When Gary isn’t attending class and working, you can watch him making the game-winning catch at the ultimate frisbee game, hanging out with friends, or visiting with his family. Experience with The Trend: Managing Editor: May 2024 - present Sports Editor: Nov. 2023 - Apr. 2024 Senior Writer: Dec. 2022 - Nov. 2023 Contributing Writer: Jan. 2022 - Dec. 2022
Laura Barrios Bardi
Laura Barrios Bardi, Contributing Photographer
Laura is a fourth-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