It was another banner year for the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma athletic department.
USAO programs made tournament runs, won championships and broke records during another successful year. USAO also had success in sports not mentioned.
Softball breaks records
Under head coach Jadyn Wallis, the USAO softball team broke records in 2019.
The Drovers started the season 52-0, extending their streak of wins to 59 in a row. USAO won its final seven games of the 2018 season, which ended with the program’s first national championship.
By winning 59 games in a row, the Drovers broke the NAIA records for longest win streak in one season and across multiple seasons. The 59-game streak also broke the NCAA record.
USAO broke the NAIA record for the longest win streak in one season against OCU. With that win, the Drovers moved to 48-0 and broke the record that was held by OCU, per the NAIA.
USAO broke the record for longest win streak across multiple seasons against Bacone College.
The Drovers also won the Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season title.
Baseball and softball advance to World Series
Both the USAO softball and baseball programs advanced to their respective World Series. Both teams advanced in dramatic fashion.
The USAO softball team fell to the University of Houston-Victoria after opening the NAIA Opening Round with a win. But the Drovers stepped up, winning three elimination games in a row to advance to the NAIA Softball World Series for the second season in a row.
USAO won three games in Springfield, Missouri. The Drovers ended the season with a 59-4 record.
As for baseball, the Drovers went 3-0 in Santa Barbara, California, to advance to the Avista NAIA World Series for the third time in the past four seasons. Ian Laureano's walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th against Westmont College clinched a berth for USAO.
USAO was one of the final three teams and defeated eventual national champion Tennessee Wesleyan University. St. Thomas University eliminated the Drovers, who ended the season with a record of 49-12.
USAO won the SAC regular season and tournament.
Men’s basketball makes run to quarterfinals
Head coach Chris Francis' squad was able to make a run to the quarterfinals of the national tournament. The Drovers defeated two higher seeds as the No. 7 seed in its portion of the bracket.
USAO opened the tournament against The Master’s University, seeded second. Hutch Peterson sent the Drovers to the next round with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that gave the Drovers a 78-75 victory.
USAO defeated No. 3 seed Wiley College 76-63 in the following round and then fell to William Carey University 102-98.
The tournament appearance was USAO’s third in the past three seasons. The Drovers finished the season with a record of 22-11.
Women’s soccer wins conference crown
The USAO women’s soccer team had an impressive year under head coach Jimmy Hampton. The Drovers advanced to the national tournament and took home the conference tournament championship in the SAC.
The Drovers defeated John Brown University 2-0 in the championship match to win their second tournament title in a row and third in the last four seasons. USAO ended its season with a record of 16-5-1.
Women’s basketball earns tournament spot
A strong stretch of play helped head coach Darrick Matthews’ squad earn a spot in the national tournament for the second season in a row.
USAO entered January with a record of 6-6 and was 6-7 after a loss to Oklahoma City University. USAO was 7-8 before winning six games in a row.
USAO went 14-4 in its final 18 games of the regular season and entered the conference tournament with a 20-10 record. USAO won its first-round game before falling in the semifinals.
The Drovers earned an at-large bid to the national tournament.
USAO finished its season with a record of 21-12.