Tim Hanson, Sports Information Director
MUSKOGEE – The Rogers State team hit 20 wins with a dominating doubleheader sweep of Bacone College on Tuesday at the Bacone Softball Field. The Cats were victorious in two five-inning games by the scores of 16-3 and 8-0.
The Hillcats (20-8) reached 20 wins for the first time since 2013 when the navy and red finished 40-19 and advanced to the NAIA Opening Round.
Harli Wheeler started 6-for-6 at the plate in the doubleheader before a hard-hit lineout in her final at bat for a 6-for-7 performance in the two games.
Rogers State 16, Bacone College 3
RSU’s offense was unstoppable in game one, scoring four runs or more in three of the five innings as the Cats pulled away for the 16-3 win.
The navy and red started with four runs in each of the first two innings to build an 8-0 advantage. In the first inning, the scoring started with two runs due to an error for a 2-0 lead. The margin doubled to 4-0 when Mikayla Waggnor doubled to the gap in right center to plate Kayla Patterson and Ali Turner.
Morgen Blanchard opened the scoring in the second inning with a single to right to score Katelyn Gamble for a 5-0 edge. After one run from Arika Araujo’s fielder’s choice, Taylor Santistevan hit a two-run homer to left to make it 8-0 after the two innings.
The lead grew to 10-0 in the third with a two-RBI double to center from Wheeler.
Bacone plated its first run in the third on a single to right for a 10-1 score.
After the one run from the Lady Warriors, the Hillcats responded with five runs in the fourth to up the advantage to 15-1. Wheeler continued her hot day with a single that scored two runs. A bases loaded walk from pinch hitter Stephanie Schivally upped the score to 13-1. The final runs of the inning scored when Danelle Day singled down the line to plate Blanchard and Wheeler for a 15-1 margin.
The Warriors added their other two runs in the fourth on a sacrifice bunt and sac fly.
Blanchard totaled her fourth hit on the game on an RBI single to right center that scored Waggnor for the final 16-3 margin.
After totaling a school-record 24 hits against Southern Nazarene last Wednesday, the Cats followed with 18 hits in game one today. Waggnor finished a perfect 4-for-4 with two RBI and four runs scored. Wheeler was perfect from the plate at 3-for-3 with four RBI. Blanchard totaled a 4-for-5 performance with two RBI. A total of nine Hillcats posted hits in the victory.
Megan Rosewell started in the circle, registering the win. The junior went 3.0 innings with one strikeout and gave up only one run on five hits to move to 17-6 on the season. Edie Fairchild pitched the final 2.0 innings and allowed only two hits.
Rogers State 8, Bacone College 0
Fairchild earned her first career collegiate win in the nightcap in an 8-0 victory. The freshman from Keller, Texas went the complete 5.0 innings in the shutout win, allowing only four hits. Fairchild moved to 1-1 on the season.
The Hillcats started slowly, but poured on seven runs in the final three innings to cruise to the 8-0 win. Kenzi Lloyd, who got the start at catcher in game two, drove in the first two runs to help the Cats build a 2-0 edge. Her RBI groundout in the first made it 1-0, and she singled up the middle to score Wheeler for the 2-0 score in the third. Araujo’s sac fly upped the advantage to 3-0 after three innings.
The navy and red pulled away in the fourth inning with four runs to go in front, 7-0. After Wheeler singled in the first run of the inning, Blanchard knocked a three-run home run to right for the 7-0 margin. RSU added the final run due to an error by the Warriors in the fifth to end the game after five innings.
Wheeler started the game 3-for-3 at the plate after going 3-for-3 in game one, however, she lined out to the pitcher in her final at bat to finish the day 6-for-7 with five RBI and six runs scored. Blanchard went 2-for-3 with three RBI, and Lloyd posted a 2-for-3 game with two RBI. The top three spots in the lineup totaled seven of the nine Hillcat hits.
The Hillcats (20-8) continues their road swing this weekend at St. Mary’s. The three-game Heartland Conference series starts on Friday (March 24) with a doubleheader at 3 p.m. in San Antonio, Texas. Game three is Saturday (March 25) at 12 p.m.