By Jacob A’Latorre, Sports Editor
The OBU Lady Bison softball team defended home plate in Shawnee for the first time against Colorado Christian University in back-to-back games during the week.
The match on Tuesday and Wednesday night brought an emotional aspect to the game with Coach Maples facing her former squad.
The game was quiet up until the fourth inning when CCU hit a two-run homer to make the score 2-0. In the fifth inning, Shelby Savage connected on a triple, bringing in two runners to tie the game.
Later in the inning, McKenna Anderson earned an RBI on a hit toward left field. With that hit, OBU took the lead, 3-2. Later in the fifth, Anderson was at bat once again and acted calm on a wild pitch where OBU scored again and the game was 4-2.
In the next inning, CCU scored on a fly out and only trailed by a run. The OBU pitching did their job toward the closing moments of the game and was able to get the win, 4-3.
Assistant coach Jade Rhodes thinks the team is connecting well with the coaching transition.
“The team as a whole has come together very well, us being a new coaching staff you always have that worry if the girls will adapt,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes thinks that the team learns more than just the physical side of earning hits and fielding balls.
“I love coaching these girls because they actually want to learn more about the mental side of the game instead of relying solely on the physical aspect of the game.”
Rhodes has a very close friendship with Head Coach Samantha Maples and thinks that their chemistry can lead them to success on the team.
“Coaching alongside [Coach Maples] is a blessing itself but being able to grow my faith at OBU has been a blessing for myself,” Rhodes said.
They were once separated but now they are back doing what they love most.
“You never know what God has in store for you, Coach Sam and I parted ways when we went to college, but God had a plan for the both of us and being able to coach next to her has been the best I could ask for,” Rhodes said.
In the next game on the day after, the Lady Bison went down, 9-1. The only bright spot was early in the game when Demi Dobbs hit a solo home run to tie the game at 1-1. Colorado Christian scored eight runs unanswered to win the game, 9-1.
Last Friday, the Lady Bison went to Tucson, Ariz. to take on Biola University. The Lady Bison were down 1-0 in the first inning. Franki Hull singled and Bry Flanagan got hit by a pitch giving the Lady Bison room to score. They came back and took the lead with Savage and Kristen Grabin walking in runs to make the score 2-1.
From there, Biola earned runs on three home run shots. They scored nine consecutive runs and taking a commanding 10-2 lead. Anderson doubled to score a run and Flanagan homered with a chance to get back in the game, but it was not enough. The Lady Bison would go down by six runs.
Rhodes puts the emphasis on wanting to put the mental capacity on the game.
“Everyone can go out and try to field a ball or swing a bat but it’s the thought process behind fielding a ground ball and your thought process when you’re approaching the plate for your at-bat,” Rhodes said.
The next game was against Black Hills State University where the Lady Bison went down by a score of 2-0.
Last Saturday, the Lady Bison were still in Tucson to take on Texas-Permian Basin. Both teams got off to good start with the game being 2-2 at the end of the first inning. Cheyenne Demaree recorded an RBI single and Flanagan recorded an RBI double.
With the Lady Bison being down 5-2, the Lady Bison scored off a walk, a sacrifice groundout and an RBI double from Grabin. The game was tied at five going into second half of the sixth inning.
Texas-Permian Basin scored off singles in the bottom half of the sixth inning to make the score 7-5. In the top seventh, hits from Demaree and Flanagan were the key to win the game for the Lady Bison and hold on by a score of 9-7.
With the Lady Bison at a 4-5 record, they will look to get back to a .500-win percentage against Northwestern Oklahoma State this weekend.