Central Okla. edges Emporia State
Bronchos get two runs in seventh, advance to regional final
EDMOND, Okla. -- Brittany Weaver’s two-out, two-run double in the top of the seventh inning gave No. 2-ranked Central Oklahoma a thrilling 2-1 victory against No. 17 Emporia State on Saturday afternoon in the winner’s bracket of the South Central 2 regoinal.
It was the second consecutive late-inning, come-from-behind win for the Bronchos. On Friday, they trimmed Incarnate Word 3-1 in the first round with a three-run double by Megan Whitmire in the sixth inning.
UCO improved to 41-5 -- tied for the most wins in school history -- and moved into the regional final.
ESU’s Karley Schmelzer kept UCO in check through six innings, though the Bronchos had at least one base runner in every frame. The Hornets broke a scoreless deadlock on Taylor Reichard’s run-scoring single in the fourth and it stayed that way until the seventh.
Kaylee Brunson led off with a bunt single and was safe at second on an error that allowed Kayce Raines to reach first. Schmelzer got Nathalie Timmermans on a pop up and Whitmire then grounded out to move the runners.
Weaver came through with her second hit, driving a ball to deep center field that went off the end of the glove of a sprinting Jessica Brewer to score Brunson and Raines for the tying and go-ahead runs.
Rachael Steverson needed just six pitches to put ESU down in order in the bottom of the seventh to complete her second consecutive complete-game tournament win.
Steverson improved to 23-4, tying a school record for single-season wins. The victory was also the 419th for UCO head coach Genny Stidham, making her the winningest softball coach in school history.