Lady Bison Lacrosse routs Adams State

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Baptist women’s lacrosse team kicked off a six-game home stand with a 19-6 victory over RMAC foes Adams State University Saturday, March 23.

The Lady Bison entered the matchup on a five-game losing streak, all of which were on the road.

However, OBU showed up ready to defend Bison Hill.

“We knew we had to show up and work for every ground ball, every pass, and every goal,” sophomore Taylor Skomp said. “We are confident every time we walk on the field, but we knew everyone would have to show up ready to perform.”

The Lady Bison came storming out of the gates.

Junior Brooke Harden opened the scoring for OBU at the 27:41 mark in the first half, which sparked four more goals for the Lady Bison.

Skomp, freshman Shay Morgan, and junior Lauren McCormack all found the back of the net before Adams State.

Once ASU finally found a goal, OBU freshman Devin Miller followed up with a goal of her own, while Skomp completed a hat trick before 10 minutes were gone in the game.

ASU scored again to make it 7-1 but the Lady responded right back with a pair of goals from Morgan and freshman Emery Kennedy.

OBU would give up one more goal before halftime, but would respond again with scores from Miller, freshman Nina Handley and Kennedy.

Handley’s goal was her first career goal for OBU.

“Offense set the tone this game and it showed,” junior Brooke Harden said. “We really have started collaborating as a team.”

Every time ASU found a goal, OBU would come back with more of their own. This helped the maintain a lead into halftime.

The Lady Bison would keep the same intensity in the second half; Miller would add another goal within the first 50 seconds of the second half.

The Lady Bison scored four more goals after Miller’s opening goal to push the lead to 17-3.

McCormack and freshman Madison Gordon each scored one more time to put the finishing touches on the emphatic win.

“I’m really proud of the way our team came out and competed,” Harden said. “We are a newer team, so we have a learning curve, but as the season has gone on, we have really developed and gotten better with each game.”

The Lady Bison had eight different players find the back of the net as the offense continued to find its rhythm from earlier in the week.

This was OBU’s first conference win since April 1, 2017.

McCormack finished with a game-high five points on three goals and two assists, while Gordon, Harden, and Skomp each had four points apiece.

Also, Miller finished with a hat trick. Defensively, junior Courtney Barnickle picked up her third win of the season in goal, collecting 11 saves against just six goals allowed.

Though the team has a difficult start to the season, the OBU lacrosse team has been able to grow and get closer as a group because of it.

“Our biggest strength is we all love each other, and we walk on the field ready to play,” Skomp said. “We spend a lot of time together outside of lacrosse growing as friends and growing in our faith.”

The team leads the NCAA in draw controls and ground balls.

“We all view lacrosse as a job,” Skomp said. “We are there to work hard, give it everything we have and walk off the field knowing we played to the best of our abilities.”

The Lady Bison now sit at 3-5 overall and 1-4 in conference play.

Next up, the team takes on Midland in a nonconference match-up, Saturday, Apr 6.

“We have been putting a lot of work in on and off the field,” Harden said. “I think it’s going to show in our upcoming games.”

So far this season, the Lady Bison have traveled to Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah. They will head out-of-state for their April 27 meet in St. Charles, MO against Lindenwood University.

Walk-On basketball player has prayer answered

By Anthony Williams, Contributing Writer

When junior Shariah Anderson first came to Bison Hill, it was entirely for academics, not for her dream, to play college basketball.

It was not until the end of her sophomore year her dream became a reality.

She said her path to playing basketball for OBU was circuitous but absolutely driven by God.

“Being a walk-on was such an answered prayer,” she said.

In fact, in the tenth grade, one of her coaches once told her she would never be a collegiate basketball player.

“[That] fueled my fire to pursue my dreams of playing basketball at the higher level,” Anderson said.

Unfortunately, she later doubted her drive would impact the reality of the situation. When opportunities failed to present themselves for the sport of her dreams, she began to pursue other athletic options.

“Being recruited by OBU for track was not the route I saw myself going; however, I figured that I could try out for the basketball team, make the team and then continue to run track in the spring,” she said.

“Nevertheless, that was not God’s plan. For the fi rst two years I was unable to try out for the basketball team because their roster was full. But at the end of my sophomore year, I went into the tryout with hopes to make the team as a walk-on; I walked out of the gym that day as collegiate basketball player who was on scholarship.”
She said she always kept faith in God during the process. At times her faith was tested, but she never surrendered her high-school dream.

In the end, she said, she was rewarded with a feeling she will never forget.

“This was such a surreal moment and made me reflect on how good God is,” she said. “In the moment I thought of this verse: ‘Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or
think’ (Eph. 3:20, NLT). All I wanted was to play basketball and He [fulfilled] that dream.”

Anderson said she believes God worked with her to realize her goals and she knows He can do this for others as well.

“My advice to another walk-on would be to remain close to God, focus and to have fun,” she said. “I would encourage them to not try to accomplish a million things all at once, but to come to practice every day with a new goal and mindset to get better at a specific thing.”
Anderson said it’s important for athletes who are walk-ons not to doubt themselves because God has given them exactly what they need.

“I would tell them to pray often because the attacks of the enemy are real, and if they are not prepared it can be hard,” she said. “Lastly, I would tell them to enjoy it. It’s not about how many minutes you’re getting in playing time or stats, but the primary purpose is to bring God glory no matter what. Whether on the bench or on the floor, the purpose does not change.”
Her faith continued to motivate her fellow teammates—and allow her to share the joy she feels.
“Shariah’s testimony has so much motivation behind it,” teammate Charissa Price said. “Seeing her giving 110 percent at practice and seeing that passion she has in her eyes blesses me. It makes me realize I truly have the best teammates I could ask for, this is why I came to OBU.”
Although the Lady Bison basketball season has come to an end, Anderson said she is already looking forward to personal improvements this off season.
“I am looking to improve on my mental state,” she said. “It can be hard being the one with the least experience, so really just taking my own advice and trusting that God has me in His hands no matter what. Also, I’d like to improve my basketball IQ and [I’d like] learning how to build stronger relationships with my teammates. In basketball, or any sport really, chemistry is huge. Therefore, getting closer with my teammates is a pretty important improvement I would like to make.”

Anderson will be entering her senior year and looking nowhere but forward.

Bison and Lady Bison shine at track indoor GAC Championships

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Baptist indoor track teams wrapped up the 2019 indoor regular season in style as they swept the top awards in the 2019 Great American Conference Indoor Championships.  

OBU served as host of the two-day meet that began Friday, Feb. 22 at Mosier Center on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

The Lady Bison and Bison joined six other GAC teams in the event, including Arkansas Tech, East Central, Harding, Northwestern Oklahoma and Southern Nazarene.  

Other non-conference teams competing were West Texas A&M, Rogers State, Oklahoma Christian, Azusa Pacific, Le Tourneau, and Laverne.  

“We were really excited to compete,” junior JoziRose Mayfield said. “Heading into the meet, we knew we were going to have to come ready to compete.”  

In the meet, the OBU women nearly doubled the points of second-place Harding. OBU finished with 234 points while Harding managed 125.  

“The team really showed up in a big way,” Mayfield said. “This team is really special. Everyone shows support for one another and it really helps everyone perform their best.”  

When the Lady Bison are performing their best, they are tough to beat. Kaylee Crowson earned the title of top female athlete at the event winning the 5000 meters and finishing second in both the one mile and 3000 meters.  

“Kaylee (Crowson) made us all really proud,” Mayfield said. “The way she always competes is very contagious throughout the team.” 

There were plenty of bright spotlights for the Lady Bison, with Cameka Witter and Mckae Mitchell finishing first and second in the 400-meter dash. 

Four more Lady Bison finished in the top 10. Sher Van Der Westhuizen, Candis Rodgers, Beyel Tubbs and Mayfield were in the top 10. Tesa Potter finished first in the 800-meter dash. Brooklynn James finished sixth.

The 4×400 meter relay and distance medley went to the Lady Bison for first.

Peyton Worley got first in the pole vault. Isabella Lotz won the long jump.      

The Bison also cruised to a victory in the meet.

The OBU men scored 278 points more than the second through fifth place finishing teams combined.

Oklahoma Christian finished second with 80 points, which was 200 points behind OBU.  

“Everyone was very focused,” senior Nathan Crowson said. “When we are competing at our best, we are a hard team to beat, and we showed that.” 

The men also claimed top male athlete of the competition. Heptathlon athlete, Hayden Ashley, earned the honor after he won five of the ten competitions and had two other second-place finishes.  

“Hayden (Ashley) is such a competitor,” Crowson said. “He lives for big moments and always steps up to the plate.”  

For the Bison, Mahcoe Smith won the 60-meter dash. The 400-meter dash went to Shirvante Knauls with Sayvon Milton right behind him.

Logan Huslig won the 800-meter dash.

The 4×10 and the distance medley went to the Bison for first as well.

For the high jump, Nathan Worley, Hayden Ashley and Andrew Worley went for first, second and third.

Spencer Lashley finished first in the pole vault and Saleem Fadel finished first in shot put and weight throw.  

This was the first ever Great American Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, and OBU made easy work of its competition.

The GAC event served as the last opportunity for OBU to add to its growing and lengthy list of NCAA meet qualifiers at next month’s meet in Pittsburg, Kansas. 

The OBU track teams will stay here for Mar. 14 and for Mar. 28 and 29 for the OBU Invitational on Bison Hill.

 

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.   

 

   

 

Lady Bison softball heads into new direction with Maples

By Jared A’Latorre, Sports Editor

The OBU softball team is underway in 2019 with new leadership to begin the season.

The new leader on campus is head softball coach and instructor of Physical Education, Samantha Maples, coming to OBU from Colorado Christian University.

Colorado Christian is coming off a historic season last year with the most wins in program history. Maples joined the Colorado Christian softball program after graduating from Florida Atlantic in 2015.

Maples joined Colorado Christian as a graduate assistant and served as head coach for a few years after that. She is looking to make OBU a playoff contender for the GAC and even nationally.  

The OBU softball team started out in Albuquerque, N.M. to begin the season in the beginning of February. The Lady Bison faced Fort Lewis to start the day. It seemed like the Lady Bison could not get passed the pitching game of their opponents. Fort Lewis went on a clinic in the fifth inning of the game and there was no coming back from there on out. Fort Lewis won in the season opener, 9-0.  

In the second game of the doubleheader, OBU faced Adams State. It seemed to be a quiet game until the fifth inning when junior Bry Flanagan hit a big three-run homer to break the scoreless match. Senior Demi Dobbs added to the OBU run with a home run of her own. Freshman Katie Long was responsible for the win. The Lady Bison won the second of the doubleheader. This win marked the first victory of Maples’ tenure as head coach for the Lady Bison.  

The next day, OBU faced Adams State again. This was the first of two games in the day. In the first inning, the Lady Bison scored off a run to the plate by Kristen Grabin, after a steal by Aspen Grimes.  

The second inning was highlighted by a three-run homer from Adams State, tying the game at 3-3. The third inning was filled with two solo homers and a two-run homer from Adams State and they were able to extend the lead, 7-3.  

In the fifth inning, the Lady Bison started to pick up the pace with a RBI double from Shelby Savage to make the score 7-5.  

In the seventh inning with two outs, Savage came through for the Lady with an RBI triple. She brought two teammates in and the game was tied at 7-7. Later in the inning, Grabin earned an RBI single and brought in Savage to score. The Bison were up 8-7. The Bison were able to have good fielding in the bottom seventh to win the game. Sophomore Grace Van Horn was credited for the win.  

In the second game of the doubleheader against Eastern New Mexico, the Lady Bison seemed gassed to get things going. The only bright spot of the game was a Cheyenne Demaree solo home run in the sixth inning. The Lady Bison fell short of this game, 4-1.  

With the Lady Bison at a 2-2 record, they will look forward to a date with a familiar face, Colorado Christian University coming up in the middle of the week. The Lady Bison will defend home plate twice this week Tuesday, February 12 and Wednesday, February 13.  

 

Lady Bison Soccer win GAC conference trophy

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Baptist women’s soccer team were crowned Great American Conference Champions Saturday, Nov. 3.

The No. 1 seeded Lady Bi-son defeated No. 2 seeded Southwestern Oklahoma State University 3-2 in overtime to secure the title.

With the win, the Lady Bison earned a bid into the NCAA Central Regional, the first national tournament appearance since making the move to Division II.

“It means so much to see our hard work pay off,” junior Emily Griffith said. “This team is something special.”

The Lady Bison cruised through the GAC, going undefeated in both regular season and conference tournament play.

The win extended their winning streak to 14 games, dating all the way back to Sept. 20.

“We just have a winning mentality,” Griffith said. “Every time we step onto the field, we expect to win.”

In the semi-finals, OBU had to take both of their opponents into overtime.

The Lady Bison took down Ouachita Baptist University 4-2 in penalties after two overtime periods.

Ouachita Baptist gave OBU a tough battle; however, the sheer grit and determination of the Lady Bison saw them earn a spot in the final.

“We definitely expected a tough game against Ouachita because they have played us tough both games in the season,” senior Jennifer Goethe said. “It was frustrating going to PK’s, but our girls were confident and composed.”

In the shootout, goalkeeper Emily Griffith managed a save in the fourth round, setting up junior Reagan Mann to secure the win with a kick of her own.

“Emily [Griffith] is one of, if not the best, goalkeepers in the conference,” Goethe said. “We knew we just had to make our shots because we trusted her to make a big save.”

The win set up a rematch of last season’s tournament final with SWOSU, who defeated Harding University in their semi-final match.

“We expected the final to be a battle,” Griffith said. “We knew it was going to take a team effort to take down SWOSU.”

The matchup proved to be as exciting as expected.

OBU opened the scoring in the 13th minute when junior Kelsey Bumgarner made a run down the right wing, and what seemed to be a cross found its way over the SWOSU keeper and into the far net for a 1-0 advantage.

SWOSU responded minutes later with a goal of their own, bringing the score level at 1-1.

The pace of the match began to slow down, and the teams began to settle into the match.

The score would remain tied at halftime.

Shortly after recess, OBU found themselves down 2-1 after SWOSU buried a cross in the 48th minute.

Once again, the advantage didn’t last long.

Freshman Tori Kitchel curled in a left-footed shot in the 52nd minute that would bring the score level once again.

The rest of regular time was very fast-paced, featuring big plays on both ends.

Griffith came up big time towards the end of the match when she stopped a SWOSU breakaway from resulting in a goal.

“I just trusted my instincts and my teammates,” Griffith said. “They all have my back and encourage me in big moments like that.”

The save proved to be an important one as regular time ended with the score knotted at 2-2.

Two minutes into the first OT period, the Lady Bison would earn what would become the game-winning corner kick.

Goethe curled in cross that would be tucked home by sophomore Hannah White for the game-winning goal.

The match ended 3-2, giving the Lady Bison the title, GAC Tournament Champions.

“I’m so proud of the way our team came out and competed,” junior Ruth King said. “Everyone fought for one another and brought their best efforts all season long.”

The win avenged last season’s heart-breaking tournament loss to SWOSU and capped off a historic season for OBU.

Following the match, senior Kerregan Edwards was named the GAC Tournament MVP, while sophomore Hannah Evans, senior Emmily Infante, Goethe, and White were all named to the GAC All-Tournament team.

For the Lady Bison, the season doesn’t end here.

Oklahoma Baptist (15-4-1) now await their regional assignment, which will be announced Monday, Nov. 5 during a 5:30 p.m. webstream on NCAA.com.

Lady Bison soccer win third and fourth consecutive match

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Baptist Women’s soccer team moved to a perfect 4-0 start in the Great American Conference after defeating Southern Nazarene University Tuesday, Sept. 25 and East Central University on Thursday, Sept. 27.

The Lady Bison defeated Southern Nazarene University on Tuesday, Sept. 25 and East Central University on Thursday, Sept. 27. The Lady Bison dominated in their first match of the week, defeating the Crimson Storm 5-0 at home.

“We came into the match really focused,” junior Ruth King said. “We expected SNU to be a tough team, but we came ready to play.”

OBU took only 10 minutes to get on the board after King buried a cross from freshman Tori Kitchel.

Not even a minute later, King doubled the Lady Bison lead after beating a defender and blasting a shot into the upper left corner. King would earn a hat trick in the 15th minute of the match, after she tucked in a shot for her third goal.

This gave the Lady Bison a 3-0 advantage at halftime. In the second half, the Lady Bison would pick up right where they left off. In the 47th minute, Kitchel beat a defender and scored in the top left corner, giving OBU a 4-0 lead.

Eventually, King would wrap up the scoring with her fourth goal; this time off across from junior Reagan Mann in the 61st minute.

“It felt really good to help
my team get the win,” King
said. “It was a total team effort.”

OBU put on an offensive clinic, totaling of 46 shots on the night, compared to five shots for SNU.

Redshirt sophomore Emily Griffith and senior Sam Engles each spent a half in goal for the Lady Bison.

Engles had three saves and Griffith had two saves, earning the team a shutout.

“We are really happy with how the team performed,” King said. “When we play together, we are a dangerous team.”

Two days later, the Lady Bison traveled to Ada, Oklahoma and defeated ECU 3-1.

“We expected it to be a very tough game,” junior Madison Hill said. “Every time we played them last season it was a really close game, so we knew it was going to be a battle.”

The Tigers came ready to
play, taking a 1-0 lead all the
way to halftime.

However, the Lady Bison would mount a second-half comeback, starting with a goal off a corner from Mann in the 54th minute.

With the score knotted at 1-1, Kitchel would give the Lady their first lead after scoring in the 67th minute.

Eventually, senior Jennifer Goethe would put the game away in the 73rd minute with her first goal of the season.

“Our team did a good job responding to the adversity,” Hill said. “When we were down, we really relied on each other to get back in the game. It was a big win.”

Offensively, the Lady Bison outshot ECU 21-10 and put nine shots on goal.

King led OBU with five shots and White added another four. Griffith earned the win again in goal for the Lady Bison.

“Our team is constantly growing closer together and getting better,” Hill said. “We have a lot of big games ahead of us, so we have to continue getting stronger as a team.”

So far this season in GAC play, the Lady Bison have dominated opponents, outscoring them 12-3 in all competitions.

OBU returns to action next Thursday as they travel to Alva, Okla. to take on Northwestern Oklahoma State.