OKLAHOMA CITY – Playing the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament for the second year in a row, the Drover softball team battled three tough SAC opponents before falling in double elimination.
“I am proud of the girls. We have been though a lot on and off the field this year, and we managed to reach our goal,” Coach Jenn White said. “I think next year we should reach even a little higher.”
In the first game of the tournament, the Drovers faced Southern Nazarene. A rough start found the Drovers down 6-0 in just three innings. In the bottom of the fifth, the Drovers left three runners on base, and SNU added fuel to the fire with another three runs late in the sixth inning.
Trailing 9-0, Morgan Singleton hit a single to left center, scoring McLeod for the Drovers’ lone run.
Unable to score another, the Crimson Storm topped the Drovers 9-1 in six innings. Neesha Sorrell and Brooke McLeod split time in the circle.
After a few hours break, the Drovers faced Rogers State. The game was scoreless until USAO gave up an unearned run in the fifth. Finding themselves in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, Chelsea Zuchnik scored off an RBI single by Ashley Mitchell to force the game into extra innings.
With the bases loaded in the eighth, Liz Agpalo scored off a passed ball to win the game for the Drovers. They advanced to the next round at 7:30 p.m. the same night.
Agpalo also pitched all eight innings of the game and didn’t give up a single earned run. She threw three strikeouts.
In addition to the tying run in the game, Zuchnik had two diving catches in left field to hold the Hillcats.
Taking on Oklahoma Christian in the third game of the day, Eagles’ catcher Kayla Jennings proved difficult to contain. In just the first inning, Jennings hit a two RBI homer straight down center field.
The Drovers tied the game up, scoring in the next two innings. First, Skyler Nichols tripled to right field, and Markie LaFerney brought her home on a sacrifice fly.
Then, Taylor Smith scored in the third inning off an RBI double by Chelsea Zuchnik.
The Drovers continued to hold the Eagles and the game went into extra innings tied 2-2. But in the top of the eighth, Jennings hit a second two run homer. The Drovers couldn’t recover the two-run deficit and fell 4-2.
Neesha Sorrell threw nine strikeouts in the eight innings in the circle.
The tournament was a double elimination and the Drovers headed home to rest and prepare for next season. The Drovers end the season 28-20.