Bronchos rally and roll in DH sweep of Lindenwood

UCO Sports
Mike Kirk, Part-Time Assistant for Media Relations

EDMOND – Carrie Abrams raced home on Lexy Dobson’s sacrifice fly to short right field to give Central Oklahoma a thrilling come-from-behind first-game win and the Bronchos went on to sweep a doubleheader from Lindenwood here Friday afternoon.

UCO scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally for a 7-6 victory in the opener and the Bronchos rolled to an 11-1 second-game rout as Jayden Chesnut pitched a masterful one-hitter.

“We made some things happen with our speed to come out with a great win in the first game,” said head coach Cody White, whose team improved to 21-14 overall and 10-4 in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play.  “Lauren (Gibson) did a great job in the circle at the end of that game to keep us in it and then Jayden just dominated.

“Our bats came alive today and we picked up two much-needed wins.  I thought we played well today and that should really help our confidence moving forward.”

Central pounded out 24 hits in the sweep, with three of those coming in the game-winning eighth-inning comeback as the Bronchos overcame a 6-5 deficit.

Bailey Thompson led off the inning with a single to right field before Abrams and Morgan Heard both laid down perfect bunt singles to load the bases.

Thompson sailed home with the tying run on JoBi Heath’s sacrifice fly to left field that ended up being dropped to keep the bases full.  Dobson followed with a short liner to caused Lindenwood’s right fielder to go to her knees for the catch and the speedy Abrams took off, sliding into home with the winning run.

Abrams led an 11-hit attack with three hits, while Thompson, Heard and Jones had two apiece.  Gibson picked up the pitching win with a superb relief performance, giving up just two hits and one unearned run in 4 2/3 innings to improve to 9-5.

UCO took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the opener on back-to-back doubles by Abrams and Heard, but the Lions answered with two runs in the third and three in the fourth to build a 5-1 advantage.

The Bronchos responded to that deficit with a four-run volley in the bottom of the fourth to tie it, the big hit coming on Allie Eicher’s two-out, two-run single.

Carli Jones started things in that frame with a one-out walk, went to second on a groundout and scored on Thompson’s bloop base hit to center field. Abrams followed with a run-scoring triple to right field, with consecutive walks to Heard and Heath loading the bases.

Eicher got behind 1-2 and then fouled off four straight pitches before driving a two-run single up the middle that tied the game at 5-all.

An error helped the Lions score an unearned run in the top of the eighth, setting the stage of UCO’s game-winning heroics in the bottom of that frame.

UCO scored in their first at bat in the second game as well, going ahead 1-0 when Heard and Heath came through with consecutive two-out singles and Eicher followed with an RBI hit up the middle.

Lindenwood tied it with a solo home run in the top of the second, but the Bronchos went ahead with two runs in the bottom half of that inning and added two more in the third before really taking control with a six-run outburst in the fourth.

Thompson had an RBI single and Webb stole home on a double-steal in the second, with Webb’s two-run double to center field pushing UCO’s lead to 5-1 in the third.

The Bronchos broke it open in the fourth.

UCO’s first eight batters reached base as the Bronchos stretched their lead to 11-1.  Heath and Dobson both had two-run doubles, while Heard and Jones delivered RBI singles to put the game out of reach.

Chestnut — making her return to the circle after a nearly three-week absence to injury – dominated from the start.  The hard-throwing junior right-hander allowed just the solo homer in finishing with her third one-hitter of the season and seventh of her two-year UCO career.

Chestnut walked only one and struck out a season-high 11 while needing just 79 pitches to complete the five-inning rout and improve to 11-3.

The Bronchos are back home again Saturday, hosting league rival Lincoln for a noon twinbill.