Tanner Shoemaker, Sports Information Director
DODGE CITY, Kan. – The top ranked University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (53-2, 36-0 SAC) kept their season alive with a 10-3 win over No. 4 seed Avila University. The Drovers win eliminates the Eagles from the NAIA Opening Round.
The Drovers jumped out to an early lead, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning, thanks to a three-run homerun from Randa Hatter (JR/Stratford, OK). USAO extended the lead to 8-0 in the bottom of the second inning, powered by another three-run Hatter homer and a costly Avila error, which led to two more runs for USAO. The Eagles scored a trio of runs in the top of the fifth inning on a three-run homerun from Kelsei Davis. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Drovers scored two more runs to take a 10-3 lead.
Randa Hatter led the Drovers at the dish, going 2-for-3 with a pair of dingers and six runs batted in. So far this season, Hatter is batting .401 with 16 homeruns and 53 runs batted in.
Dakota Clouse (SR/Blanchard, OK) was also fantastic at the plate, finishing 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI. Keely Kingsley (SR/Oklahoma City, OK) concluded the win 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored. Karmyn Pearn (SO/Newcastle, OK) and Tarah Madron (JR/Konawa, OK) each recorded singles in the rout.
Emily Cerny (SO/Newcastle, OK) pitched the first two innings of the game before being relieved by Lyndie Ervin (FR/Washington, OK). Ervin pitched the final five innings, allowing three runs while striking out two batters as she earned her 14th win of the season.
The Drovers will face No. 2 seed University of Houston-Victoria at 11 AM CT in Dodge City, Kansas. No. 1 USAO will have to defeat No. 2 UHV twice on Wednesday to advance to the NAIA World Series since UHV has not lost in the Opening Round yet.