Lady Owls Crush No. 2 Trevecca, Advance to "Elite Eight"
Lady Owls Celebrate after Upset Win Over No. 2 Trevecca (Photo by Kelly Caleb)
GULF SHORES, Ala. — Oregon Tech’s bats came alive, Jackie Imhof continued her intimidating efforts from the circle and the Hustlin’ Owls keep playing softball.
After Kelsey Lantrip hit a bloop single to open the game, Imhof shut down second-rated Trevecca Nazarene of Tennesee and OIT went on to an 8-0 victory Saturday to win its pool at the NAIA national tournament.
The victory moves the Hustlin’ Owls, 38-12 on the season, into the eight-team, double-elimination bracket tournament that begins Monday. OIT will meet seventh-ranked Lubbock Christian of Texas at 8 a.m.(PDT) in its first game. All Oregon Tech games will be broadcast live in the Klamath Basin on KLAD 960 AM with Bobby Thompson and Mike Garrard calling the action. Live Stats are also available at oitsports.com
“After that hit, Jackie owned the game,” Oregon Tech coach Greg Stewart said. “Jackie was dominating and hitting her spots. She wasn’t leaving pitches out over the plate. And, our bats came alive.” OIT took the lead in the bottom of the second, the first time in the tournament this Hustlin’ Owls were the home team. “Sara (Coates) just had a great at bat as she fouled off a bunch of pitches to get a walk,” Stewart said, “and then Kayde Schaefer followed with a hit to score the first two runs.” Brittany Cherry and Bree Larson, two of the team’s four seniors, both scored on Schaefer’s hit. Coates later hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning as OIT extended its lead to 4-0, and Jess Plummer launched what her coach called a monster shot, with two runners on base, in the fifth as the Owls went on to win via the mercy rule.
“We knew it was do-or-die,” Larson said of the final game of pool play in which the winner knew it would advance to the bracket tournament. “As a senior, I wanted to end on a good note. All the seniors knew it could be our last game.”
OIT now is guaranteed at least two more games in the tournament where, if the Hustlin’ Owls can win twice, they would reach the 40- win mark for the fifth time in school history, and first since 2002. “The key was the second inning,” Stewart said. “Our bats came a live. We got some timely hits. The girls made some adjustments and when we went up 4-0, we knew the game was in our favor.” Coates’ home run was her second this season, while Plummer hit her 12th. As a team, OIT now has 55 home runs.
“I just went up relaxed, (relief pitcher Riley Mashburn) pitched me inside and I hit it out,” Plummer said as she tied Amanda Doherty for seventh place for single-season homers. Doherty also is No. 1 and No. 4.
“We knew it could be our last game and before we went out on the field, we all got together told each other to leave it on the field,” Plummer said. In doing so, OIT sent home with a 48-4 record. The Trojans’ starting pitcher, Lauren Baker, suffered her first pitching loss of the season and ended the year 25-1. Imhof, meanwhile, is 22-5 and pushed her single-season OIT strike out total to 235.
Story by Steve Matthies Herald and News
View Related News by Tag:
Athletics Home Archive
Back to all news