Bison and Lady Bison track excel at Wichita State and Fayetteville

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Baptist men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in a pair of meets that took place Friday, March 12.

Part of the OBU team traveled to Wichita State University to participate in the KT Woodman Classic, while another group traveled to the University of Arkansas to compete in the John McDonnell Invitational.

“We were really looking forward to competing this weekend,” junior JoziRose Mayfield said. “Our team has been working very hard to prepare for big meets like these.”

In Fayetteville, the playing field was very competitive.

Many athletes from both Division II and Division I programs made for challenging competition.

“We were only worried about ourselves,” Mayfi eld said. “We were ready for the challenge and knew we had what it takes to make some noise.”

In the women’s track events, Mayfield and senior Leah Molter finished second and third in the women’s 400 hurdles with times of 1:01.57 and 1:01.95.

Molter finished fourth in women’s 100 hurdles.

In the women’s 400, sophomore Cameka Witter placed sixth with a time of 54.13.

Witter placed just ahead of senior teammate McKae Mitchell who finished seventh at 54.37.

Junior Tessa Potter finished seventh in the women’s 800 with a time of 2:14.05.

In the women’s field events, sophomore Julianna Horner finished fourth in the women’s shot put with a throw of 12.94m.

Sophomore Evelyn Carswell finished third in the women’s high jump with a mark of 1.63m.

“We gave everything we had in the competition,” junior Raigan Servati said. “I am proud of the effort that we gave.”

In the men’s track events, OBU’s freshman Noah Eskew finished third in the men’s 3000 with a time of 8:43.20.

Junior Brandon Crowley finished fourth in men’s 110 hurdles with a time of 14.40.

Freshman Eric Vander Walt, senior Andrew Worley and junior Cayden Spain finished in the sixth through eighth spots.

Lastly, freshman Logan Huslig came in fifth in the men’s 400 hurdles with a time of 54.90.

“The guys and girls both brought their best efforts,” junior Hayden Ashley said. “Nobody is better prepared than our team, and I am really thankful for all of our tough preparation.”

In the men’s field events, sophomore Nathaniel Worley won the men’s high jump com-petition with a best of 1.96m.

Ashley won the men’s javelin with a throw of 51.35m, finished second in the men’s long jump at 6.88m and finished tied for fourth in the pole vault with a distance of 4.50m.

“I felt really good heading into the weekend,” Ashley said. “Just wanted to come out and give my best effort and help my team as I could.”

Another group of OBU Bison athletes competed simultaneously in Wichita, KS. In the women’s track events, freshman Berkley Price was second in the women’s steeple-chase with a time of 11:42.07.

Sophomore Allison Derry finished third in the women’s 1500 at 4:43.54. Lastly, graduate student Kaylee Crowson came in third in the women’s 5000 with a time of 17:20.05.

“Our team has continued to get better every week and with every practice,” Servati said. “I really am excited to see how far we are able to go and see what all that we can accomplish together.”

One of the biggest parts of the OBU track and field team is the family mentality.

“This is one big family that loves to support one another,” Mayfield said. “We are all truly wishing the best for one another and encouraging everyone to do their best.”

Next up, OBU will host the 2019 Great American Conference Outdoor Championships beginning April 18 at the Eddie Hurt Jr. Memorial Track Complex in Shawnee, OK

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.

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.

 

OBU leads way in RMAC Championships

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Oklahoma Baptist men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams took part in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Championships in Lewisville, Texas beginning Wednesday, February 13 and competing through Saturday, February 16.  

Heading into the event, the Bison were ranked 22nd in both men’s and women’s polls, according to Collegeswimming.com.  

Two other RMAC schools – California Baptist and Colorado Mesa – were ranked in the top 20 in national polls, just ahead of the Lady Bison and Bison. This set the stage for an epic, heavyweight bout in the conference championships.  

OBU knew they were going to be competing against some of the top swim and dive teams in the region. 

“We were expecting a dog fight from the very beginning,” junior Austin Saunders said. Everyone knew they were going to have to give everything they had to reach our common goal of winning the conference title.” 

The Bison and Lady Bison showed up ready to compete, earning several top finishes in the opening day of the event. OBU won both the men’s and women’s 200-yard medley relays, keeping its winning streak alive in the event.  

The women’s relay team consisting of sophomore Madelyne Carson, sophomore Victoria Fonville, sophomore Juliana Cifuentes, and sophomore Julia Day finished at 1:43.24, nearly two full seconds ahead of the second-place Colorado School of Mines team.  

The men’s relay team of sophomore Robinson Molina, junior Felipe Zapata, sophomore Davion Conley, and Gabriel Knaut finished at 1:28.25, which was a half-second faster than second-place Colorado Mesa.  

Additionally, OBU earned a first-place finish in the women’s 200-yard IM by freshman Marziel Van Jaarsveld and by Fonville in the 50-yard free. Van Jaarsveld cruised to victory, finishing with a time of 2:01.62, which was three seconds better than the second-place winner.  

However, Fonville inched out her opponents by 0.007 seconds with a time of 2:81 in the 50 free. 

“This team is very special because of the team’s chemistry and support,” Van Jaarsveld said. “We always stand with each other and push one another.” 

The second day saw more success for OBU in the event.  

The women’s relay team again saw great success in day two, winning both the 200 freestyle and the 400medley.  

The 200 team of freshman Jamie Edwards, Fonville, Day, and Van Jaarsveld finished in 1:33.04. In the 400medley relay, the team of Cifuentes, Fonville, Day, and Van Jaarsveld secured another victory, finishing with a time of 3:48.91. Also, Van Jaarsveld finished first in the 400 IM.  

“The way our team pushes through adversity is really amazing,” Saunders said. “I’m really proud of the way our team showed up.”  

The Bison also saw great success in day two.  

The men’s 200 freestyle team secured a win with a time of 1:21.12. The team consisted of Molina, Saunders, Gabriel Knaut, junior Alex Leff. The same group finished two-tenths of a second slower than Colorado Mesa in the 400 IM relay and earned second place. 

During the day, sophomore Alfredo Arrieche competed in the 1000yard freestyle event and although he came in second place, his performance did not go unnoticed.  

“From the very beginning he had taken the lead in such a long race and absolutely made it his race,” Saunders said. “Although he took second place in the event, the courage it took to go all out right off the bat showed his character and passion for swimming.” 

With momentum building, the Lady Bison and Bison entered day three still hungry for more success.  

On the women’s side, Van Jaarsveld took home her third individual race, finishing first in the 200 Butterfly, finishing with a time of 2:01.83.  

Additionally, Cifeuntes edged teammate Fonville at the wall to win the 100 Backstroke. Cifuentes touched the wall in 1:02.53, a half a second faster than Fonville’s 1:03.10.  

On the men’s side, Molina added another win to his total after taking the 100 Backstroke with a time of 47.71. Freshman Jordan Atkins secured a firstplace finish in the 100 IM with a time of 56.75.  

“We’ve been working all year,” senior Jonathon Stewart said. “I’m really proud of the team’s efforts.” 

In the final day of the competition, the Bison and Lady Bison brought all the energy and focus they had, and it paid off in a big way. In the end, OBU finished the competition with five first-place finishes.  

For the women, OBU’s Van Jaarsveld shared the women’s top performer award with Western State’s Randi Yarnell.

The two swimmers ended the competition with 77 points in total. Also, Van Jaarsveld finished second in the 100 backstroke and was a part of the winning 4 X 400 freestyle relay team. She joined teammates Fonville, Edwards, and senior Miram Avilla in a second-place finish.  

OBU finished the race with a time of 3:25.61, which qualified OBU for the NCAA Division II Championships next month.  

For the men, freshman Drew Dickson was the top swimmer for the Bison. He ended the competition in eighth place with 67 points.

Dickson secured a win in the 200 backstroke after finishing more than one-second ahead of the pack. He joined teammates Molina, Knaut, and junior Ryan Walker as the mens’ 4 X 400 freestyle relay winner.

Lastly, junior Genesis Veliz, the defending NCAA Division II champion, will have the opportunity to defend her title after winning the RMAC 3-Meter diving competition.  

“We had some amazing performances throughout the competition,” Stewart said. “Despite all of the adversity and the things not going our way, we still competed at a high level.” 

Next up for the OBU swimming and diving teams is the Texas A&M University Last Chance Meet in College Station, Texas beginning Friday, February 22.  

Players honored in Bison and Lady Bison basketball

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Baptist Men’s and Women’s basketball teams have had a busy start to the new year. Both teams found success throughout the month of January, setting the teams up for a compelling end of the season.  

The Lady Bison saw senior Autumn Avina named U.S. Basketball Writers Association Women’s Division II National Player of the Week for the week ending January 6. 

“Being named Division II Player of the Week was a blessing and something I will never forget,” Avina said. “My team helped me accomplish this goal and had my back the whole way.” 

Additionally, the senior guard from Austin, Texas was named GAC Player of the Week for the same week. She averaged 19.0 points, 7.5 assists, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 steals for the week, including a triple-double. Not only did she fill up the stat sheet, she did so efficiently, shooting the ball 50 percent (17-of-34) from the field, including 57.1 percent (4-of-7) from three-point range.  

The Lady Bison headed into the last week of January 4-4 on the month. The team ended the month on a road trip to Arkadelphia, AR to face-off against GAC opponents Ouachita Baptist Thursday, January 31 and Henderson State Saturday, February 2.  

“We knew we had to expect some very competitive matchups,” Avina said. “Everyone is hungry for wins and now that we are in the second round of conference everyone is looking to play for March.” 

In the first game, the Lady Bison set the tone early, earning a 24-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.  

“We came out firing and had a great start,” senior Katy Custer said.” We executed the game plan in the first quarter.” 

Unfortunately, over the next three quarters, the Lady Bison saw their lead diminish until they found themselves down in the third quarter. The fourth quarter turned into a defensive battle, but the Lady Bison couldn’t fight their way back into the game. They would eventually fall to Ouachita Baptist 70-59.  

“There was a momentum shift with about 3 minutes left in the second quarter and it felt like we never got it back,” Custer said. “Everyone fought hard, but it was definitely a frustrating one.”  

Custer managed 12 points in the loss, becoming the 29th OBU player to reach 1,000 points in her career. Also, junior Victoria Blankenship finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season and Avina added 10 points and 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season.  

With a bitter taste in their mouths from Thursday’s loss, the Lady Bison turned their attention to their next matchup with Henderson State on Saturday. 

“We definitely were looking forward to the game against HSU,” Custer said. “HSU is one of the top 3-point shooting teams in our conference, so we knew we had to come out focused.”  

Once again, the Lady Bison found success in the first quarter; however, they found themselves in a deep hole by halftime, down 13 points. Henderson State came out in the second half firing on all cylinders to make sure OBU couldn’t dig themselves out of that hole. Despite a decent push by OBU in the fourth quarter, it was too little too late as they would fall 73-64 for their second straight conference defeat.  

“Although we lost, I think there are several positives that we can take away from the performance,” senior Alexa Richards said. “We cut a 23-point deficit to 9 points, and we proved to ourselves that if we simply stick together like we did in the end then we can win tough games.” 

Blankenship led OBU with 21 points and 11 rebounds earning another double-double. OBU also got double-figure scoring from freshman Charissa Price with 16 points, Avina added 15 points, and Custer added 12 points.  

The loss moved OBU to 9-11 overall and 5-9 in the GAC. 

For the Bison, freshman Brantly Thompson was recognized as the GAC Men’s Basketball Player of the week for the week ending January 13. Thompson averaged 19.5 points and 5.5 rebounds for the week, helping the Bison secure the top spot in the GAC standings.  

To end the month of January, OBU also traveled to Arkadelphia for a pair of difficult road tests against Ouachita and Henderson State. OBU entered the first matchup against Ouachita sitting atop of the GAC standings and surging on a three-game winning streak.  

“We have the number one spot that everyone is racing for,” senior Antonio Wade said. “We are expecting every teams best shot.”  

Well, that’s exactly what they got from Ouachita. Despite racking up a 7-point halftime lead, the Bison were unable to withstand a 50 point second-half from Ouachita. OBU would lose a close one, 77-71. The Bison’s three-game winning streak would be snapped, and they would be bumped into a tie for second place in the GAC.  

“We missed a lot of shots we usually make which was a big factor in the game,” sophomore Harrison Stoddart said. “I feel like we played great tonight on the road, our shots just would not fall.”  

Stoddard led OBU with 21 points on the night. Also, freshman Mohammed Abubakar added 13 points and Wade and senior Julian Daughtry added 10 apiece.  

Looking to bounce back, the Bison squared off against Henderson State two days later.  

“We knew we would have to keep fighting through the adversity,” Stoddart said. “We wanted to stay focused as a team and fight together.” 

The Bison sputtered out of the starting blocks against Henderson State and found themselves fighting from behind the rest of the way. OBU found itself down 21-6 after the first eight minutes of play. Despite the slow start, the Bison were able to cut the deficit to 7 points two different times. However, the Bison could never fully recover from their slow start, eventually falling to Henderson State 66-57. 

“The tough truth is that mediocrity cannot win tough games on the road,” Wade said. “We are learning what it takes to win on the road when the odds are stacked against us. Every loss we learn more about ourselves.”  

Wade led the team with 17 points and Thompson added 13 points of his own. The loss moved OBU to sole owners of the third-place mark in the GAC. 

“This team is incredibly resilient,” Wade said. “This team has set the bar for success and we are constantly pursuing that everyday regardless of the obstacles we face.” 

The Bison currently hold an overall record of 11-9 and a 10-4 GAC record. With the Great American Conference postseason push heating up, the next few games are going to be pivotal.  

Both the Bison and Lady Bison will travel to Durant, OK Thursday, February 7 looking to bounce back against Southeastern Oklahoma State University. After, they will be welcoming Southwestern Oklahoma State University to the Noble Complex Saturday, February 9. 

 

 

 

 

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.

Lady Bison volleyball spends week on the road

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Baptist Women’s Volleyball team had an action-packed week.

In four days, the Lady Bison played four away matches, earning two wins and two losses. The week started off in Durant, OK Tuesday, September 11 as the Lady Bison faced off against their Great American Conference (GAC) foe Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Heading into the match-up, the Lady Bison knew it would be a difficult challenge.

“We knew we had to play with a winning mentality from the beginning,” senior Hayden Blair said. “It was going to have to be a team effort.”

The Lady Bison came ready to play as they dominated the match from the start.

The first set saw two 4-0 runs bring OBU out to an early 8-5 lead. From there, the Lady Bison would only surrender six more points to SOSU for the rest of the set, which was the fewest points allowed in a set by OBU this season. This claimed a 25-11 win in the first set, putting OBU up 1-0. After a slow first frame, SOSU was able to keep pace with OBU for more of the second frame as the match was tied 15-15 at the midway point.

However, a string of errors by SOSU saw OBU inch past them and ultimately gain a 2-0 set lead. The third set featured a solid defensive effort by OBU, recording five blocks in the set to close out the match.

“The team did a great of job of serving and defending all night long,” Blair said. “The girls rallied together and really played for each other.”

Sophomore Malia Leatherland finished with a team-high nine kills, and freshman Jenna Gremmel led the team with 17 assists. The win moved OBU to 2-0 in the GAC, something the team has done for the fourth straight year. The Lady Bison had a quick turnaround as they faced off against Southern Nazarene University in another GAC match on Thursday, September 13 in Bethany, OK.

“We knew it was going to be another difficult road test,” senior Nicole Fleitman said. “They always put up a good fight and play to win.”

After a slow start, OBU had to battle its way back from an early deficit. The Lady Bison were able to take advantage often attacking errors by SNU and level the score at 1-1.

In the third set, the OBU offense was able to find its rhythm and earn a 2-1 set lead over the Crimson Tide. With their backs against the wall, SNU was able to rally against OBU and would steal a tightly contested fourth set and eventually snatch the win from the Lady Bison in a fifth set.

“Although we didn’t get the win, we had a lot of things to be proud about,” Fleitman said. “Everyone worked together and battled to the very end.”

Once again, Leatherland led the way offensively with 19 kills, and Gremmel had a team-high of 34 assists. The close loss bumped OBU from a perfect start in GAC play to 2-1 overall. After their two GAC matches, the Lady Bison played a pair of non-conference matches Saturday, September 15 in Denton, TX. OBU began the day with a matchup against Dallas Baptist University and ended the day versus Texas Women’s University.

“Coming into the day, we were expecting DBU and TWU to be good competition,” sophomore Mikayla Watson said. “When looking at their records, we had all beat the same teams and lost to the same teams. With this in mind, we knew we would have to push ourselves to come out on top.”

The Lady Bison came into the first match firing on all cylinders. In the opening set, Fleitman and Watson each had three kills, with Fleit-man hitting an efficient .750 for the frame. This saw the Lady Bison earn an early 1-0 advantage over the Patriots. OBU continued their efficient attacking into the second frame, connecting on 35.1 percent of all their attacks.

Leatherland and sophomore Taylor Williams combined for nine kills and helped lead OBU to a 2-0 lead. The Lady Bison were able to secure a 3-0 sweep of DBU after an impressive third set. Watson posted six kills and Blair dished out 12 assists in the third set alone.

“We really came out firing and limited our errors,” Watson said. “We did a good job of fixing things throughout the game, and we never let up.”

In their second match of the day, the Lady Bison fell short against Texas Women’s University. OBU would steal the second set but would ultimately fall 3-1 in the end.

“We were able to bounce back and steal the second set, but they took the momentum and ran with it in the last sets,” Watson said. “We fought hard throughout the match, which was good to see.”

In the match, Wat-son scored 18 kills and Leatherland had 16 kills. Blair led the way with 25 assists and Gremmel added 18 more assists.

“Something that has stood out to me is our teams fight,” Watson said. “We may have gotten off to a slow start a few times, but we always turn around and fight until the end.

Lady Bison swept by Ouchita, miss out on playoffs

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor  (Courtesy photo/Bison Athletics)

The Oklahoma Baptist women’s softball team wrapped up the 2018 season by traveling to Arkadelphia, Ark. to face off against Great American Conference foe Ouachita Baptist University the last weekend of April. The Lady Bison entered the weekend with the hope of earning a playoff berth; they needed to win three out of the four games.

“We knew it was going to be a challenge,” senior shortstop Katie Reyes said. “The team really wanted to leave everything that we had out on the field.”

Unfortunately, the Lady Bison struggled offensively and were defeated in all four of the contests. In the first two games on Friday, the Lady Bison played solid defensively, holding their opponent to one run, but couldn’t get on the scoresheet.

“We came out focused and locked in on every play,” sophomore second baseman Shelby Savage said. “Offensively, we just couldn’t drive in runners.”

In the first contest, the Bison had five hits to Ouachita’s six; however, they were all singles by five different players, and no one was driven in for any runs. Ouachita didn’t get on the board until there were two outs in the sixth inning.

“Katie [Long] pitched a great game,” Savage said. “She was doing everything she needed to do. It was an unlucky loss.”

In the second game of the back-to-back, it was a similar storyline. The Lady Bison posted solid defense through five innings to stay in the game, but had a minor hiccup in the sixth inning that would cost them the game.

OBU struggled again to get any offense going, getting four hits to Ouachita’s five. Junior Bry Flanagan was responsible for two of the four, but no runs could be brought in. The final for both games one and two was 1-0 in Ouachita Baptist’s favor.

“I’m really proud of how the team dug in and gave ourselves a chance to win both games,” Savage said. “The team definitely has a lot to be proud of.”

After losing back-to-back games on Friday, OBU were officially out of playoff contention heading into Saturday.

“As a senior, I knew [they were] going to be my last games as a Bison,” Reyes said. “I approached the last games with all I had left.”

In game three, Ouachita came out red-hot, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning, but OBU was able to respond with a run of their own in the top of the second inning after Flanagan smashed a solo homerun to left field.

Ouachita turned around and answered with another run in the bottom of the second to extend their lead to 4-1.

Later, in the top of the fourth inning, OBU scored another run after junior Aspen Grimes drove in sophomore Cheyenne Demaree with a single to left center-field.

This brought the score to 4-2. Once again, Ouachita came right back at OBU with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth inning to stretch out their lead, 6-2. The Lady Bison would be unable to overcome the deficit.

“Ouachita is a very dangerous team if you let them get things going,” Savage said. “They didn’t leave anyone on base. They did a good job of driving people in.”

In the final game of the series, OBU were the first on the scoreboard. Savage was driven in off a single from Flanagan, giving OBU a 1-0 lead at the end of the first inning.

Ouachita responded with five runs of their own in the bottom of the second inning to overcome OBU’s one run and get out to a 5-1 lead.

Looking to spark a comeback, Savage came out with a solo homerun in the top of the third, bringing OBU within three runs of the opponent.

Ultimately, Ouachita tightened things up from then on defensively and held OBU scoreless through the last four innings.

They were also able to add another run in the sixth, sealing a 6-2 win. This brought the Lady Bison’s season to an end.

“It was a tough way to see our season end,” Savage said. “But, it doesn’t take away from all the things we accomplished this season.”

For the seniors, it was the last game in a Lady Bison uniform.

“I tried my best to leave a positive legacy on this team all year long,” Reyes said. “I tried to focus more on being a better team player, who was there for her teammates and helped others whenever they needed someone. I hope my legacy lives on.”

With this season in the books, all eyes are on the future of Lady Bison softball.

“I know this team has so much potential for the future,” Reyes said. “We have so many talented individuals and are lethal when we put everything together.”

The Lady Bison ended the season with an overall record of 16-31 and a GAC record of 13-26.

 

Women’s tennis claims regular season title; men’s team falls to Harding

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor  (Courtesy photo/Bison Athletics)

The Oklahoma Baptist women’s tennis team claimed the Great American Conference regular season title after defeating Harding University Friday, April 13. The Lady Bison dominated the match, winning 5-1.

“It was a special experience,” junior Alex Bowers said. “The team really stepped up to the occasion. I was really proud of how everyone played.”

The Lady Bison got out to an early 2-1 lead over Harding after the doubles matchups.

At No. 1 doubles, the duo of senior Kateryna Shkot and sophomore Kim Moosbacher secured an 8-3 victory over their opponents. Also, the No. 3 doubles pair of Bowers and junior Caroline Abbe were able to earn another 8-3 win.

“Throughout the matches, everyone kept a positive attitude,” Bowers said. “Having a whole team behind you makes all the difference.”

At singles, Shkot, Moosbacher, and junior Madeleine Boepple earned victories at Nos. 1, 2, and 5 to clinch the match. Walsh and Bowers were both winning their singles matches at the time; however, the final result was already official.

“Everyone played really well,” sophomore Tahlia Walsh. “This is a special team with big goals.”

This marks the second regular season title in three seasons for the Lady Bison. OBU finished the regular season with a perfect 6-0 GAC record, and a 12-4 record overall.

“We are firing on all cylinders right now,” Walsh said. “We are really looking forward to the conference tournament.”

The Lady Bison finish the regular season at Abilene Christian Univeristy April 24.

The Oklahoma Baptist men’s tennis team also squared off with Harding in the Great American Conference finale, but the Bison were defeated. The Bison entered the match looking to bounce back from a loss on April 10 to Southwestern Oklahoma State University; however, Harding ultimately dominated the match.

“We came into the match excited to play,” junior Lucas Branco said. “We knew that they were going to be a solid opponent.”

Sophomore Kevin Andrusch and sophomore Gianlucci Galdi secured the only doubles victory for the Bison at No. 1 doubles, 9-7. This left the Bison in a deep hole heading into singles matches; they were unable to overcome the deficit. Galdi and Matias Le Fort were leading their singles matches, but were cut short because Harding had already secured the win.

“Despite the loss, this team never gave up,” Branco said. “I’m very proud of our effort.”

The loss pushed the Bison to 1-2 in GAC play and 7-7 overall.

“Our main focus now is doing well in the postseason tournament,” Galdi said. “However, first we want to close out the regular season on a high note.

The Bison will also conclude the regular season April 24 at Abilene Christian University.