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 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.

 

Softball in danger of missing playoffs

By Nicholas Dingus, Sports Editor

The Lady Bison softball team hosted their senior day this past weekend, marking the last home series of the season. The Lady Bison split the series 1-1 with their opponents, the Savage Storm of Southeastern Oklahoma State.

The Lady Bison lost their first game Friday afternoon by a score of 10-2. The Lady Bison
struggled on offense, scoring their only two runs on a pair of hits in the fourth inning.

The Lady Bison rallied in their second game of the day defeating the Storm 5-4.

The Lady Bison were led by sophomore Taylor Zanca, who drove in the runs during the second game. Freshman Katie Long took the win from the mound and finished her season with a 7-7 record.

Due to weather, both games were canceled Saturday. The Lady Bison will finish their season on the road in Arkadelphia this weekend against Ouachita Baptist University.

OBU currently sits ninth in the Great American Conference standings. The top eight teams will advance to the GAC playoffs. Ouachita is currently seventh in the standings, so a sweep of the series would propel the Lady Bison into the playoffs
during the last weekend of the season.

Last Week in Bison Sports

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The Lady Bison softball team split their series with East Central this past weekend. The Bison won the first game of the weekend 9-3, but were unable to continue their success through the second game which they lost 16-8. The Bison will be at home this weekend to face off against Southern Nazarene.

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Kevin Andrusch and his doubles partner Gianlucca Galdi (not pictured) scored the only win for the Bison last weekend at Harding University.

 

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The Lady Bison lacrosse team traveled Colorado to face conference opponent CSU-Pueblo, but were defeated by a score of 22-1.

OBU baseball and softball deal with more weather cancellations

By Nick Dingus and Jared L’Atorre, Sports Editor and Contributing Writer

While OBU baseball is looking to end the season strong, the team has added another co-Player of the Week for this season.

Last Friday, OBU baseball went on the road to Weatherford to face Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Right from the start, Southwestern scored three runs, and then scored two more later in the game to win it five to nothing. Southwestern had nine hits compared to OBU’s four.

Last Monday, junior Jake Gozzo became the second player for OBU Baseball this season to win the Great American Conference (GAC) player of the week award. Junior Brett Bloomfield won the award last month. Gozzo proved himself March 23 when he hit two homers in a losing effort. The next day, Gozzo hit a homer to take the lead in a six to five victory. March 30, Gozzo continued to hit the ball well with a hit and he was also awarded with an RBI in a victory against Northwestern Oklahoma.

The next day against Northwestern, Gozzo performed even better with a home run, a double and three hits of four attempts in a victory for the Bison. In the Northwestern Oklahoma series, Gozzo was able to lead his team to a sweep with a tremendous performance.

The Bison will play their next four games at home against the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith on Tuesday, and then three straight home games against East Central University.

The softball team had three of their four games against Southwestern Oklahoma State canceled due to the cold weather last weekend.

The four-game series was supposed to be a pair of home and home doubleheaders with two games played in Weatherford, Friday and two played in Shawnee, Saturday.

The team only made it through the first game in Weatherford before temperatures dropped below 30 degrees, forcing the second game to be suspended. The next day, snow and ice forced yet another cancellation in Shawnee, drawing the season total to ten games canceled due to weather.

The Lady Bison lost their lone game of the weekend 4-3 against the Bulldogs. Bry Flanagan drove in all three runs; Katy Reyes crossed the plate twice while Cheyenne Demaree scored once. The Bison had 12 hits in the game, and had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh inning, but SWOSU turned a double play to end the game.

OBU softball will be back in action in a four game series against East Central University in Ada.

The Bison will play a set of doubleheaders April 13 and April 14. Friday’s games will start at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Saturday’s games at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.