USAO

USAO softball players gather together during a game from the 2019 season.

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma softball team’s historic season has come to an end.

The Drovers entered the NAIA World Series in Springfield, Missouri, as the No. 1 seed and began play on Friday. USAO went 3-2, winning two elimination games in a row before falling to Sooner Athletic Conference rival Oklahoma City University 3-1 on Tuesday to end their season.

USAO opened play last week against the Grizzlies of Georgia Gwinnett College. GGC was the No. 8 seed in the tournament, and the Drovers picked up a 4-1 victory in that game.

USAO trailed 1-0 after the top of the third and scored all four of its runs in the bottom half. Following a two-run double from Destinie Lookout, Randa Hatter hit her 17th home run of the season to complete the scoring in the game. According to USAO, Hatter matched the single-season record for home runs that she set in 2018.

USAO’s first loss of the tournament came against fourth seed Southern Oregon University on Saturday. USAO fell in a 4-0 game.

USAO’s two wins in elimination games gave them five between the Opening Round and World Series. The Drovers had their backs against wall three times in the Opening Round and were able to survive.

Their first win in an elimination game in Missouri came against No. 5 seed Lindsey Wilson College on Monday. Sophomore pitcher Emily Cerny allowed just one hit in seven innings of work and struck out five batters in the win. USAO’s two runs came from Kristen Prieto’s two-run double in the bottom of the third. ­

USAO’s final two games of the season were played Tuesday. Prior to playing OCU, USAO played GGC for the second time during the World Series. In the 6-1 win, the Drovers scored all six of their runs in the bottom half of the third inning.

USAO and OCU met for the sixth time of the season following USAO’s win over GGC. The two teams were playing for a berth in the championship against SOU and were tied 1-1 for a majority of the game. A two-run home run from OCU’s Brittany Perez in the top of the seventh ended up being the difference in the game.

USAO ended the season with a record of 59-4. Over the course of the past two seasons, USAO has a record of 116-9 to go along with a 2018 national title and 2019 SAC regular-season championship. The Drovers went a perfect 36-0 in conference play in 2019.

USAO was also ranked No. 1 in the country in all of the polls released during the 2019 regular season after being ranked second in the preseason. The Drovers started the season 52-0 and broke multiple records during their 59-game win streak.

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