OBU Tennis team earns victory in Springfield, Missouri

By Courtlin Haygarth, Assistant Sports Editor

In search for their first win, Oklahoma Baptist headed to Springfield, Mo. to take on the No. 20 Drury Panthers Feb. 15 and then the Lindenwood Lions, who were also looking for their first win, Feb. 16. 

“We are going to have to play well to beat either of those teams,” Head Coach Jason Proctor said.  “I think we have a chance in both of those matches if we play as good as we can play.”

This will be the third year in a row that Oklahoma Baptist will have traveled to Springfield to take on Drury and Lindenwood. The Bison Men have split the series each of the last two years as each of the last two years OBU has found their first win of their season on this road trip. 

On Friday, things started out promising as they took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 with Gianlucca Galdi/Kevin Andrusch and No. 2 with Matias Le-Fort/Andres Graterol, both matches ending in a 7-6 score in favor of the Bison. With needing only three victories in singles to take the match, the Bison only got one from freshman Rhett Rollins 6-7, 6-4, 10-5 as the Bison fell 5-2. This was Rollins’ first singles win of the season. 

For the women, this was the first time in three years the Lady Bison headed to Springfield for their back-to-back against the Drury Lady Panthers and Lindenwood Lady Lions winless. The last two years OBU has made the trip with a win already under their belt. 

For the Lady Bison, doubles came and went pretty fast as both Drury’s No. 1 and No. 2 girl’s duos won 6-1 and 6-2. The up-hill climb facing OBU of needing to win four of the six singles matches was nearly completed as Tahlia Walsh, Ethne Dowling, and Stefy Varon all found the winning column.

Kim Moosbacher and Alex Bowers, after taking their respective first sets, could not close the deal as they both ended up losing in three and the overall match 4-3. 

In the Lindenwood match, Sweet Victory may not have been played at halftime of the Super Bowl, but the spirit lived on in Springfield on Saturday afternoon as both Bison teams logged their first wins of the season.

After capturing the doubles point, the Bison Men got all four of their singles victories in straight sets. Rhett Rollins left his first trip to Springfield as a Bison undefeated in singles. 

The Lady Bison continued their dominant streak over Lindenwood with a third straight sweep of the Lady Lions 7-0. Madeleine Boepple, who had been the Lady Bison’s No. 2, was put at No. 4 for this match after going 0-3 in singles to begin the season. Coach Proctor spoke on the issue of his teams’ winning formula and this position shift decision. 

“Proud of the way our players played today,” Proctor said. We have full confidence in what we are doing as a team and how we are going about it. We have lost a couple matches so far this year against very strong – but also beatable – teams. I’m proud of these wins because we didn’t change anything, we didn’t panic, and we continued to go about our business with the knowledge that, at the end of the day, our diligence will yield favorable results.” 

Proctor is willing to do anything to lead the team to victory and will take advantage of the players he has. 

No strategy there. Just putting together the best possible lineup we can on each day to give OBU Tennis a chance to win. This situation is very fluid right now as we have a lot of girls who are evenly matched with one another. It all comes down to who is playing the best tennis at the moment.” 

Whatever message Proctor was or was not sendingBoepple heard it loud and clear as she played her best tennis of the short season on Saturday as she was a terror to her opponent, winning 6-0, 6-0 with each Lady Bison winning in straight sets. 

Oklahoma Baptist Tennis will make their first appearance on Bison Hill of the season on Saturday, Feb. 23 when Kansas Wesleyan comes to town. Match time is at 11:00 that morning. Both Bison squads will look to make it two in a row.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lady Bison softball takes one and loses one on home field

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.