RSU Media Relations
CHICKASHA — The Rogers State softball team suffered its first conference loss of the season with a doubleheader split against the University of Science and Arts Wednesday in Chickasha, Okla.
The Hillcats pounded out 30 hits during the twin bill. RSU controlled the first game of the day from the outset en route to an 8-3 victory. Things came unraveled for the Cats in the nightcap as USAO plated eight runs during the third, fourth and fifth inning. RSU rallied for four runs in the sixth and loaded the bases in the seventh, but ultimately came up on the short end of a 10-9 decision.
Tye Coats put RSU in front with an RBI single in the top of the first inning and the Hillcats never looked back. The Cats added single tallies in the second and third frames to give Coats plenty of breathing room.
The junior right-hander tossed a complete-game and was unscathed until the bottom of the seventh. Jodi Patterson and Brittany White ripped back-to-back RBI doubles in the top of the seventh to give RSU an 8-0 lead. The Drovers touched Coats for three runs on four hits in the bottom of the frame, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Coats (11-4) scattered seven hits across seven innings and struck out three in the contest. Felicia Gourley was tagged with the loss for USAO. Six different Hillcats enjoyed multi-hit games as the team improved to 5-0 in Sooner Athletic Conference play.
The Drovers managed to salvage a split despite the fact RSU continued to put up gaudy numbers on offense in the nightcap.
The Hillcats tallied 15 hits for the second consecutive game. Dina Ortiz singled home Angelina Vines in the top of the third inning to put RSU in front, 5-1. However, USAO chased Coats from the game in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff walk and a single. Reliever Taryn Hernandez allowed both runners to score to make it a one-run game before the inning was over.
The Drovers batted around on Hernandez in the bottom of the fourth, plating four runs on five hits, to take a 7-5 lead. The lead swelled to 10-5 with three more USAO runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Freshman Linsey Curtis got the Cats back in it with one swing of the bat. Katie Bointy walked to start the sixth and Hernandez and Sara Harvey followed with singles to load the bases. Curtis belted a grand slam over the centerfield wall to bring RSU back to within one run. The Collinsville, Okla., native has swatted 13 home runs in just 22 collegiate games and is now just one homer shy of tying the single-season record set by Jenny Johnson in 2009.
Bointy, White and Ashlie Fauchier delivered three straight singles to start the seventh. However, reliever Ashlyn Kimberly came on to escape the bases loaded jam with two ground outs and a pop up to record the save. Hernandez (6-1) suffered her first loss while Gourley earned the win for USAO.
Rogers State (17-5, 5-1) will travel to Springfield, Mo., this weekend to participate in the Evangel University Tournament on Friday and Saturday.