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Softball Competes In UAM 7-State Classic

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Bentonville, AR -

The Aggie softball team competed Feb. 14-17 in the University of Arkansas-Monticello (UAM) 7-State Classic tournament, playing eight games in four days against some tough NCAA D-II teams.

UAM2, OPSU 0-The tournament started on Valentine's Day, but there was certainly no love in the air for the Aggies. Neither team scored in the first three innings in the first game. In fact, OPSU went three up and three down through the first four against UAM pitcher Courtney Wilson. The lead batter for UAM in the fourth hit a home run and then a two-out double sent the second base runner home for another run. In the seventh and final inning, Emily Vasquez reached on an error with two outs. Junna'e Dai'Re singled to advance Vasquez to second, but Dai'Re was thrown out at second when Lilli Ward reached on a fielder's choice, denying the Aggies a chance to score in the game. Dai'Re had one hit for one at-bat and Bristol Ashlock had one hit for two at-bats. Presjel Dai'Re, the losing pitcher, tossed four innings, scattering six hits and striking out one. Talena Tippett threw the final two innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Ouachita Baptist 12, OPSU 6-In game two, OPSU got the bats going in the first inning when lead-off Julie Cross reached on an error and then advanced to second. Kaitlin McCool hit a sacrifice bunt to advance Cross to third, and then she got home when Brandi Heath hit a ground ball to the pitcher. OB answered right back with a double that got two runners safely home followed by a one-out, three-run homer to take a 5-1 lead. In the bottom of the second, Lilli Ward singled to get Kari Pitts home, and with runners at first and second, Cross doubled, sending them both home. Cross stole third and then took advantage of an error to get the tying run. OB still was not finished, scoring four runs in the third and three more in the sixth. OPSU got its final run in the sixth when Pitts singled to send Krista Bomak home.

Losing pitcher Brittany Scruggs started on the mound, giving up four hits and five runs. Samantha Arledge pitched relief, giving up 10 hits and seven runs, and striking out seven. Cross had two runs off one hit and two RBIs, Pitts had one run off two hits and one RBI, and Ward had one hit, one run and one RBI.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University 12, OPSU 4-Presjel Dai'Re took the mound for OPSU for the Friday morning contest against SWOSU. SWOSU scored one run in the top of the first, and then OPSU took the lead in the bottom of the first as Emily Vasquez singled to bring in McCool at second and Cross at third. Tippett went in to relieve Dai'Re during the third after two runners scored, and then two more scored to put the score at 5-2. For OPSU's at-bat in the third, closing pitcher Scruggs hit a sacrifice to get Heath home, and then Ward singled to bring Vasquez home to get the Aggies within one run of the tie. SWOSU scored seven more unanswered runs to take the win.

Vasquez had one run, one hit and two RBIs, and Ward and Scruggs had one hit and one RBI each. Dai'Re had the loss, scattering five hits and giving up five runs in two and two-thirds innings of work. Tippett gave up four hits and three runs while Scruggs struck out one and gave up six hits and four runs.

Southwest Baptist 3, OPSU 2-SB scored a run in the bottom of the first to take an early lead. OPSU scored the tying run in the fourth when a Vasquez double put McCool safely home. Bats stayed silent until the sixth when SB scored two runs. At the top of the seventh, lead-off batter Junna'e Dai'Re tripled and then scored off a Ward sacrifice fly. Arledge did a good job on the mound, pitching a complete game, striking out six and scattering five runs.

Rockhurst University 8, OPSU 2-RU took one run off OPSU pitcher A'lex Koonce in the top of the first, and good play in the field helped hold them off until the fourth, when RU plated three more runs to pull ahead 4-0.

Struggles on the mound continued for OPSU as two more pitching changes saw RU scoring three runs in the fifth and a single in the seventh. OPSU did not get on the board until the seventh and final inning when Bomak hit a double to score two. Bomak had one hit and two RBIs. Koonce was the losing pitcher, striking out one and giving up five hits and five runs.

University of Nebraska-Kearney 8, OPSU 2-Like the last game, the Aggies did not get a run until the seventh inning when Michaela MacGillivray scored off a hit from Ashlock and then Cross got safely home from third when McCool singled. Arledge again threw a complete game, striking out two and scattering 14 hits.

Central Missouri 4, OPSU 3-CM took a one-run lead in the first and OPSU tied it in the second when Pitts scored on an error. CM scored the go-ahead run in the second. Neither team scored again until the sixth, when Junna'e Dai'Re hit a two-out single with the bases loaded to get two runners home to put OPSU ahead 4-2. CM came back in the bottom of the seventh to get the two winning runs. Tippett threw a complete game, striking out three and scattering eight hits. Junna'e Dai'Re had one hit and two RBIs, and Weddle had one RBI.

Northwest Missouri State 9, OPSU 6-In OPSU's final game of the tournament, both teams remained scoreless until NWM took a five-run lead in the second.

The Aggies got on the board in the fourth with a lone run when Vasquez singled to send Ward home, but NWM scored three more after that. In the fifth inning, a pair of singles from Ward and Heath scored two, and then Heath went home on an error and Ashlock took advantage of a wild pitch to get home for the four-run inning. The Aggies got their final run in the sixth when Pitts lined out to send Bomak home. Pitts, Ward, Heath and Vasquez each had an RBI. Losing pitcher Presjel Dai'Re gave up six hits and struck out one while reliever Brittany Scrugss gave up eight hits and struck out two.

The team takes some time off before traveling to Portales for a doubleheader with Eastern New Mexico State on Feb. 27.

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