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OCU ends year in NAIA softball championships

Staff Report
Oklahoma City University’s women’s softball season drew to a close after a 7-3 loss to sixth-ranked Belhaven (Miss.) last week at Alabama’s Gulf Shores Sportsplex in the NAIA softball championships.
The ninth-ranked Stars were knocked into the loser’s bracket after a 1-0 setback to top-ranked California Baptist. OCU (48-14) stayed alive with a 4-2 win over 15th-ranked Shorter (Ga.).
OCU edged Shorter as Lily LaVelle retired Jessica Womble on a pop-up to second base with the bases loaded to end the game. Amanda Albertson’s RBI single brought in Shorter’s second run of the inning and filled the bases with one out. LaVelle got the second out by striking out Charlsie Broome.
LaVelle, a junior from Bridge Creek, struck out six and allowed seven hits and a walk.
In the second inning, LaVelle put OCU up 2-0 on a two-run base hit to shallow right field. Then in the fifth, LaVelle pounded a two-run home run to left for a 4-0 Stars advantage.
Tori Joyner, a sophomore from Mustang, went 3-for-3 with a run scored, while LaVelle went 2-for-3 with a run scored and four RBIs for OCU. Chelsey Eddy, a redshirt freshman from Rockwall, Texas, went 2-for-3 and scored a run.
California Baptist made Kendall Gorham’s solo homer in the second stand as Emma Holden shut OCU out on one hit and four walks. Holden (33-1) fanned 11.
Joyner had the Stars’ only hit, a single to center, with one out in the third. LaVelle followed by getting hit by pitch, but Holden struck out Nathalie Timmermans and retired Brittany Caruthers on a popup to end OCU’s threat.
LaVelle finished with seven strikeouts and permitted one run on four hits and a walk in six innings.
Belhaven ousted OCU by scoring four sixth-inning runs. Katie Sanders broke a 3-3 tie with an RBI infield single.
Caruthers hammered a three-run blast over the center-field fence to stake OCU to a 3-0 first-inning lead. Belhaven answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Kylee Rounsaville, a freshman from Yukon, went 2-for-3, while Caruthers, LaVelle and LeeAnn Lopez had OCU’s other hits.
LaVelle struck out six in 4.2 innings against Belhaven. She finished the season 31-10 with 34 complete games in 36 starts. LaVelle collected 391 strikeouts to break OCU’s single-season record of 375 tallied by Dasha Shembereva in 2006.

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