The ACU softball team made a statement this past weekend as they improved their overall record to 5-3 hosting the Whitten Inn Classic.
The team hosted Lone Star Conference rival Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds and the of University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos.
The first day of the Classic started with a seemingly easy victory over Eastern New Mexico 8-3. The team struggled at the start when the Greyhounds held two early leads. The sixth inning shined some light when the team scored five unearned runs, after a few infield errors from the Greyhounds.
The team was routed by 16th ranked UCO 2-1. The defensive battle came down to a close call at home plate, when ACU leadoff hitter Keanna Winkfield made her way from third to home after Madison Buckley attempted to bunt her in for the tying run. Winkfield was tagged out by UCO’s catcher Tori Collet.
Both of UCO’s runs were unearned when senior pitcher Caitlyn Crain loaded the bases after a series of walks. The ensuing two-run single in the third from UCO’s clean-up hitter Nicole Workman sealed the victory.
Crain (1-2), threw a complete 118-pitch game against the defending South Central Region champions.
“We knew that UCO was pretty tough, but then we got out there and played them like any other team,” Crain said.
“As a pitcher, it’s always nice to have a good defense behind you,” she said. “The freshmen really proved themselves this past weekend, and reacted to the pressure situations very well.”
On Saturday, the ‘Cats sought out revenge and bested the Bronchos 6-5. With two outs in the bottom of the 7th inning junior catcher Lynd Smith blasted a 2-0 pitch from UCO’s pitcher Kalynn Schrock. The ball soared over center field and hit the bottom left of the scoreboard.
“At that point you don’t have anything to lose, but everything to gain. Anyone who plays a sport wants to be in that position,” Smith said.
Smith was surrounded by her teammates as she touched home plate.
“Even if it had been me or anyone else, it’s like the whole team did it,” Smith said. “I was just as excited for them as they were for me.”
This weekend the ‘Cats will be traveling to the desert in Tucson, Ariz., for the NFCA Division II Leadoff Classic.