No. 1 USAO ties NAIA record with 52nd consecutive victory

USAO Athletics
Tanner Shoemaker, Sports Information Director

CHICKASHA – On Tuesday night, the top ranked University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma tied the NAIA softball record for longest win-streak across multiple seasons, as they swept the double-header against Mid-America Christian University. The defending champions made history in epic fashion, tying the NAIA record on Senior Night. USAO tossed a 5-0 shutout in game one, followed by a 13-4 walk-off victory in the series finale (6 innings).  The Drovers have now won 52 consecutive games, dating back to May 5, 2019, and they have started the 2019 season 32-0 against SAC opponents, and 45-0 overall.

GAME 1

The Drovers took control of the game early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning, on Destinie Lookout (SR/Oklahoma City, OK)’s 3-run homerun. In the bottom of the second inning, USAO scored once, extending the lead to 4-0. USAO added one more insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning, prior to closing out the game with pitching and defense.

Cassidy Bennett (SR/Lexington, OK) began her unforgettable day, by going 3-for 3 with a double in the opener. Keely Kingsley (SR/Oklahoma City, OK) finished 2-for-3 with a stolen base, while Dakota Clouse(SR/Blanchard, OK) went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Destinie Lookout concluded the win 1-for-3 with a homer and three runs batted in. Brooke Rains (JR/Washington, OK) continued to swing a hot bat, contributing a 1-for-2 performance that included a pair of runs scored. Emily Cerny (SO/Newcastle, OK) concluded 1-for-3 with a double and a run-scored, while Karlie Velasco (SR/Del City, OK) went 1-for-4 with a double and a RBI. Randa Hatter (JR/Stratford, OK) finished the opener 1-for-3 with a single.

Emily Cerny tossed her twelfth shutout of the season, improving her record to 19-0 and lowering her ERA to 0.35. Cerny pitched all 7 innings and struck out 12 batters, while only allowing one hit. The reigning NAIA Pitcher of the Year has not allowed any runs in her last 29.2 innings pitched. The sophomore has stuck out 209 batters in 118.2 innings pitched so far this season.

GAME 2 

In the series finale, the Drovers struck first, scoring a trio of runs in the bottom of the second inning. With the score 3-0, the Evangels cut into the Drovers’ lead, scoring once in the top of the third inning. USAO’s offense exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, but then allowed MACU to respond with three more runs in the top of the sixth inning. With the score 8-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Drovers were determined to capture the win one inning earlier than originally scheduled. USAO scored a total of five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and they enforced the run-rule on Cassidy Bennett’s 2-run, walk-off homerun.

Cassidy Bennett finished off her incredible Senior Day, by going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, and a 2-run walk-off dinger. Bennett’s unforgettable, walk-off homerun was the first of her USAO career, and it could not have come at a more perfect time.

Brooke Rains continued her hot-streak at the dish, finishing 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, a homerun, and a pair of RBI’s. In her last five games played, Rains is batting 9-for-16 with seven runs scored, three doubles, two homers, and seven RBI’s.

Randa Hatter also finished the night with a 3-for-4 performance, which included a run scored, a double, and two runs batted in. Destinie Lookout hit three singles and scored once in the win. Tarah Madron(JR/Konawa, OK) had a fantastic game, concluding 2-for-3 with two runs scored, a homerun, and three RBI’s. Dakota Clouse added a single and a run scored in the historic victory.

Emily Cerny pitched a scoreless first inning, which included a pair of strikeouts. Lyndie Ervin(FR/Washington, OK) pitched the next three innings and earned the win, improving her record to 11-0. Falon Howell (SO/Duncan, OK) pitched the final two innings of the win.

Lyndie Ervin’s scoreless streak of 25.1 innings came to an end in the top of the third inning. Ervin, a freshman, has an ERA of 2.07 and has fanned 34 batters in 61 innings pitched so far this season.

The Drovers will look for full possession of the NAIA win-streak record on Thursday, April 18, when they play at Bacone College at 2 and 4 PM. The Drovers could also tie the NAIA record for longest win-streak in a single season (47) with a sweep in Muskogee.

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