Bartlesville, OK — After losing the first two games in the NCCAA National Championship Tournament held in Botetourt, VA the Lady Eagles softball team concluded their 2013 season with a school best 35-18 record.
Their win/loss record this year is a nearly an exact flip of the record from the 2012 season were they finished 18-34.
Making their first trip to the NCCAA National Championship, the Eagles gave everything they had but came up short in game one in a 12 inning pitching duel against Campbellsville (Ky.).
While starter Jenna Daniel and reliever Courtney Carson only gave up 5 hits, the offense could only muster 6 hits against four different Campbellsville pitchers, falling with an RBI double by Sara Paragon. The Eagles couldn’t answer in the bottom of the 12th, losing 2-1.
After waiting out two more extra-inning games by other teams on the day, the Eagles second game came against Simpson University (CA) which did not start until 9:15pm. The only base runners on the day came from 5 walks as the Eagles couldn’t record a single hit. Kim Billie took the loss (8-5), pitching just 1.2 innings before Daniel came in relief. The final score was 8-1.
“Even though the results weren’t what we expected, it was a great first experience at a national championship for our girls,” said head coach Caty Reeves. “We will be more prepared next year and will know what it takes to compete with some of the best teams in the NCCAA.”
This season, the Lady Eagles made leaps and bounds by finished third in the MCAC conference (16-4) and beating rival Central Baptist College twice. The Lady Eagles also played neck and neck with some of the best teams in the NAIA, barely falling to Oklahoma City University, St. Gregory’s University, and Rogers State University during the year.
As a team, they ended with a .279 batting average lead by Miranda Kiser who hit .399 on the season with a .497 OB%. Allison Edwards added the best power numbers blasting 15 homeruns while hitting .345. Macy Wright and Jenna Daniel were the only two Eagles hitting over .300 with a .325 and .300 batting average, respectively.
In the circle, the Eagles were led by Senior Courtney Carson with a 3.19 ERA in 96.2 innings pitched and freshman Jenna Daniel who also had a 3.19 ERA in 105.1 with a team high 137 strikeouts. Defensively, the Lady Eagles had a .963 fielding percentage, one of the best in the NAIA.
Reeves said: “I am extremely proud of the girls and the effort they put out this year. I asked them to do things they have never done before and they stepped up and accepted the challenge.
“We have a solid group of returners coming back and with a new recruiting class we will threaten to win the MCAC conference next year. I can’t wait until we get started back up to see what we can turn this into with a full fall and spring to mesh as a team.”