Tanner Shoemaker, Sports Information Director
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The top ranked University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (57-2, 36-0 SAC) and No. 8 Georgia Gwinnett College met on Thursday afternoon to open the NAIA Softball World Seriesfor the Drovers. The defending NAIA National Champions rallied for four runs in the third inning, which was enough to earn the 4-1 victory.
GGC struck first, scoring once in the top of the third inning off of a RBI-triple. The lead was short-lived as the Drovers rallied for four runs in the bottom of the third inning. Destinie Lookout (SR/Oklahoma City, OK) drove in the first two runs with a double to right, followed by a two-run homerun from Randa Hatter(JR/Stratford, OK). The score remained 4-1 until the end of the game, as Emily Cerny (SO/Newcastle, OK) and the Drovers defense shut down the Grizzlies offense.
Destinie Lookout and Randa Hatter powered the Drovers at the dish. Lookout finished 1-for-3 with a double, run scored, and two runs batted in, while Hatter went 1-for-2 with a two-run homerun and a hit by pitch. Hatter has now tied the USAO Softball record for single-season homeruns (17), which was a record that she set last season.
Karlie Velasco (SR/Del City, OK) contributed a perfect 2-for-2 performance that included a pair of singles and a walk. Tarah Madron (JR/Konawa, OK) went 1-for-3 with a single, and Kristen Prieto (JR/Moore, OK) went 0-for-1 with a pair of walks and a run scored.
Emily Cerny pitched well in the circle, allowing just one run off of six hits, and she struck out four batters to earn the win. Cerny now owns a record of 28-2 and a 0.53 earned run average. The SAC Pitcher of the Year has struck out 270 batters in 185.1 innings pitched so far this season.
The Drovers will now prepare to face Southern Oregon on Saturday, May 25 at 10 AM CT in Springfield, MO.