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Lopez Homers Three Times As Stars Edge Illinois-Springfield 9-8

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

LeeAnn Lopez crushed a three-run walk-off home run to give Oklahoma City University a 9-8 victory over Illinois-Springfield on Sunday at Ann Lacy Stadium.

Lopez, a senior from Grand Prairie, Texas, hammered three homers in a 3-for-4, seven-RBI game vs. Illinois-Springfield. Lopez went 3-for-4 and drove in two more runs in the Stars' 10-4 win over Missouri Southern later in the day.

Lopez finished the weekend hitting .600 with two doubles, five homers and 16 RBIs in four OCU wins. She improved her season numbers to .479, eight doubles, six homers and 32 RBIs with a 1.021 slugging percentage. OCU, ranked fourth in NAIA softball, moved to 10-4 on the year.

Against Illinois-Springfield, OCU erased 6-3 and 8-6 deficits. In the seventh, Shelbi Legg doubled to center field, and Tori Joyner singled to left to set the table for Lopez. Lopez pounded a full-count outside pitch into the tree beyond the left-center field wall with two out and Joyner on second and Legg on third.

In the top of the seventh, Illinois-Springfield went ahead 8-6. Chelsea Minor had an RBI triple, and Katelyn Weaver had a sacrifice fly.

OCU tied the score 6-6 as Magean De La Torre cranked a solo shot over the left-center field wall. Earlier in the inning, Lopez nailed a full-count slider over the left-field wall for her second homer of the game. The Stars cut their deficit to 6-4 on Joyner's run-scoring double in the fifth.

Lopez put OCU ahead 3-1 in the bottom of the first, turning on a curveball for a three-run homer to left. Lopez last hit three homers at Lubbock Christian (Texas) on March 29, 2012. She had her fifth multihomer game in her OCU career.

Joyner, a senior from Mustang, Okla., went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base. Rachel Penner, a freshman from Kelown, British Columbia, Canada, struck out five in three innings to get her first career victory as a Star.

Against Missouri Southern, OCU scored all the runs it needed with three in the bottom of the first. Drew Wright tied the game 1-1 with an RBI groundout, then De La Torre drove in the go-ahead run on a double to right. De La Torre reached home on a passed ball.

Jamie Rateliff had an RBI double in the third before Joyner brought home a run on a bunt single in the fourth. Lopez added RBI singles in the fourth and sixth.

Lopez was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs, while Joyner went 3-for-4 with two runs scored a run driven in.

Penner fanned 10 while allowing one run on four hits in her first complete game with OCU. She struck out the side in the fourth and retired seven in a row from the fifth to the seventh.

The Stars face Mid-America Christian in a 2 p.m. doubleheader Tuesday at Ann Lacy Stadium.

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