The Moore American
MOORE — The No. 17-ranked Oklahoma City University Stars captured the Sooner Athletic Conference championship with a 8-0 win over the Mid-America Christian University Lady Evangels today (May 3) at Ann Lacy Stadium on the OCU campus.
Kelcie Wolf held the Stars scoreless in the first and the Lady Evangels had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the frame to jump on top, but a towering fly ball by Natalie Bissell was tracked down in front of the wall by Jamie Rateliff to end the threat.
Rateliff then made an impact with her bat by hitting a two-run homer in the second to give the Stars a 2-0 lead.
OCU added to the lead in the third when Jocelin Diaz hit a two-out RBI single.
The Stars continued to pull away and got a two-run homer from Maxime van Dalen and then a two-run single by Kyndra Holasek finished off a three-run sixth inning that put it away.
Wolf went 4 1/3 innings for the Lady Evangels with four runs allowed and three strikeouts, while Amber Tinney came in for 1 1/3 and also gave up four runs. Ashley Sanford followed Tinney and got the final out of the sixth inning.
After the scoring chance passed by in the first, the Lady Evangels couldn’t make a dent against OCU starter Danielle Fox. Fox blanked the Lady Evangels on three hits in her six innings in the circle.
After becoming the first MACU program to ever compete in a Sooner Athletic Conference championship game, the Lady Evangels will now set their sights on the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Central Regional Tournament next week at Oklahoma Christian University.
After becoming the first Mid-America Christian University program to advance to a Sooner Athletic Conference championship game, the Mid-America Christian University Softball Lady Evangels have five student-athletes named to the All-SAC second team squad and two Gold Glove recipients.
The second-team honorees are senior pitcher Amber Tinney, junior pitcher Kelcie Wolf, junior outfielder/pitcher Jackie Hilterbran, junior first baseman/pitcher Ashley Sanford and sophomore outfielder Taylor Green.
Green and catcher Katie Gracey were also SAC Gold Glove winners.
Tinney and Wolf anchored the Lady Evangels’ pitching staff this season. Tinney won a single-season record (as an NAIA school) 16 games this season and pitched a school record 166 2/3 innings. She also led the staff in strikeouts (120), earned-run-average (3.49) and complete games (12).
Wolf won 11 games for the Lady Evangels with a 4.01 ERA and an outstanding 117-32 strikeout-walk ratio.
For the second straight season, Hilterbran led the team in hitting (.382) and hits (63). She drove in 34 runs with three home runs and also contributed on the mound again, posting a 2.75 ERA in 20 1/3 innings.
Sanford finished second on the team in batting average (.340) and drove in a single-season record 55 runs this season while tying a single-season mark with 10 homers. She also posted team-highs in slugging percentage (.622) and on-base percentage (.450). She was also a perfect 4-0 on the mound with a 3.05 ERA in 36 2/3 innings.
Green batted .320 and tied for second on the team in hits (56) along with 22 RBI and a solid .402 on-base-percentage. She also had a .947 fielding percentage with 12 assists.
Gracey recorded a .969 fielding percentage behind the plate and threw out three potential base-stealers in 35 starts.
The Lady Evangels, under third-year Hall-of-Fame head coach Robert Wakefield, have won a school record 32 games this season and will compete in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Central Regional Tournament beginning Thursday (May 8) on the campus of Oklahoma Christian University in OKC.