EDMOND – It wasn’t a true walk-off win, but it was a free pass that wrapped up Central Oklahoma’s 8-0 drubbing of East Central Monday afternoon at Gerry Pinkston Stadium on the final day of the Broncho Invitational.
Shayla Harper drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the fifth inning to force in Shayleigh Odom and end the game on the eight-run rule, giving No. 16-ranked UCO its 10th straight win.
The Bronchos improved to 12-2 in finishing off a perfect two-week, nine-game homestand. Central dominated from the start, finishing with nine hits while getting another stellar pitching outing from Kylee Lynch.
“We came out and took care of business,” head coach Cody White said. “Our defense has been really good this season and it was again today, plus we hit the ball well. And Kylee did what she does.”
What Lynch did started out to be something special. The sophomore standout had a perfect game through four innings, then gave up a bloop single and infield hit in the fifth before Isie Cox came on to get the final out.
Lynch didn’t walk a batter and struck out three in 4 2/3 innings. She threw just 53 pitches in improving to 8-0 on the season.
Harper and Amelya Huggins had two hits apiece to lead the offensive assault, while Terin Ritz blasted a no-doubt home run and finished with three runs batted in.
The Bronchos broke on top with a single run in the bottom of the first when Huggins lined a double to left-center field, went to third on a wild pitch and trotted home on Odom’s single to center.
UCO increased its lead to 4-0 in the third.
Brighton Gilbert opened the inning with a single to left field, went to second on Tarin Dubler’s sacrifice bunt and scored when Jacee Minter reached base on an error. Ritz followed with a line drive shot that cleared the right field fence in a hurry for her second homer of the season.
The onslaught continued in the fourth with another three-run volley.
Harper got things going with a one-out single and stole second, then Gilbert reached on an error that moved Harper to third. Gilbert swiped second, Dubler came through with a two-run single up the middle and Ritz later added an RBI groundout to make it 7-0.
The Bronchos ended it in the fifth. Odom was hit by pitch to lead off, Mattie Lee had an infield single and Lexy Dobson was hit by pitch to load the bases for Harper, who drew a four-pitch walk for the game-ending RBI.
UCO is off until going to Wichita Falls, Texas on March 1 to meet Midwestern State in a doubleheader.