McSpadden collects 1,700th victory in OCU victory

OCU Athletics
Rich Tortorelli, Assistant Athletic Director for Communicaitons

OKLAHOMA CITY – Phil McSpadden notched the 1,700th head-coaching victory of his Oklahoma City University career during a doubleheader sweep over Panhandle State 7-6 and 5-3 on Friday night at Ann Lacy Stadium.

McSpadden has directed Oklahoma City to a 1,700-380 mark (.817 winning percentage) in his 32nd year. The Stars, ranked No. 2 in NAIA softball, moved to 34-4, 16-2 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.

McSpadden leads college softball in victories against four-year competition. In college softball, only Mike Candrea can claim more wins than McSpadden. Candrea has 1,778 college softball wins – 1,593 at Arizona and 185 on the junior-college level at Central Arizona.

McSpadden has guided OCU to 10 national championships in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2016 and 2017. McSpadden is a member of the NAIA Hall of Fame, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma City University Athletics Hall of Fame.

In the milestone win, Julianne Abeloe accounted for the winning hit by ripping a two-run double into right-center field to put the Stars on top 4-0 in the first inning.

Baileigh Loux brought in OCU’s first run of the game by doubling to left-center. Morgan McCallum smacked a run-scoring double to left.

Brittany Perez stole home in the third to give OCU a 5-2 lead in the third.

Kylie Dodson earned the victory, improving to 17-1 this year. Dodson worked out of two bases-loaded jams. Dodson retired Haley Neal on a popout to first baseman Jaden Shores to secure the victory. Dodson struck out four in a complete-game effort.

Abeloe, a junior from Santa Paula, Calif., was 2-for-3 with two runs batted in, and McCallum, a junior from Mesquite, Texas, had a 2-for-3 game with a run scored and an RBI. Kennedy Jackson, a sophomore from Oklahoma City, went 2-for-4.

In the first game, Jaci Smith pounded two home runs and drove in three runs. Smith leads the NAIA with 20 homers this year. Gabby Zucchiatti knocked in the crucial run with a double to left to give OCU a 7-4 fifth-inning advantage.

McCallum sparked the OCU offense by crushing a solo shot over the left-field wall in the second inning. Smith belted a solo blast to left-center field in the third, then gave the Stars a 5-2 advantage by nailing a two-run homer beyond the left-center field wall in the fourth.

Panhandle State cut OCU’s lead to 7-6 on Jaylinn Reyes’ homer leading off the seventh. Dodson fanned Neal on called third strike with the tying run on base.

Smith went 2-for-4 and scored twice, while Baileigh Loux had a 3-for-3 performance with two runs scored for OCU. Perez and Zucchiatti each turned in a 2-for-3 showing with an RBI.

Shores collected the win, going to 17-3 on the year. Shores, a junior from Blanchard, Okla., struck out five in five innings. Dodson, a freshman from Mustang, Okla., posted her second save of the year.

The Stars meet Texas Wesleyan in a 2 p.m. doubleheader Tuesday at Ann Lacy Stadium.

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