Stranded runners hamper BC softball
The Bethel College softball team had its share of hitting, but just not enough with runners on base, leading to a pair of losses to Oklahoma Wesleyan Saturday afternoon in KCAC play at Allen Wedel Field.
Bethel lost 3-1 and 7-4, stranding 18 runners on base in the two games.
“We’ve been struggling with that the last few games, leaving a lot of people on base,” Bethel coach David Middleton said. “We need timely hitting. We have to be better than that.”
Tahlor Stefek pitched a complete-game win in the first game for OWU, allowing a run on seven hits with two walks and 13 strikeouts.
With two outs in the top of the fourth, the Eagles drew a walk and a single to set up an RBI double for Duant’evia Hollis. Bethel put two runners on bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth, scoring on a pinch-hit single for Catherine Carter.
In the top of the seventh, a walk and an error led to an OWU run. Baylee Knorr followed with an RBI single. Bethel got a runner on base in the bottom of the seventh, but failed to advance her.
Skylar Jackson took the loss for the Threshers, allowing one earned run on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
Bailea Crist went two for three hitting for Bethel. Knorr went two for three for OWU.
Abbey Ely pitched the win in the second game for OWU, allowing a run on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.
The Eagles opened the second game with four runs in the first inning on five hits. Lacey Coffman had a two-run hit in the inning. Stefek had an RBI double in the fourth inning, followed by a Lindy Alexander RBI single.
Laura Pineda broke the shutout with a solo home run to left field. Bethel had two runners on with no outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, but failed to score.
Knorr hit an RBI single for OWU in the top of the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, Cami Mills doubles, went to third on an error and scored on a wild pitch. With one out, Sarah Smith reached on an error, followed by a Crist single. Pineda doubled to score a run.
Mazze Nelle started the seventh inning for the Eagles. Anastasia Thornhill finished the game for the save.
Bethel starter Jesse McMichael took the loss for the Threshers, allowing six runs on eight hits with a walk and a strike out. Rachel Duer finished the game, allowing a run on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Alexander went three for three hitting for the Eagles. Sofia Cardenas went two for three.
Pineda finished the game four for four hitting. Emalee Overbay went three for four. Mills went two for three hitting.
We’ve been a team like that where we’ve given up one big inning and had one big inning,” Middleton said. “We need to be more consistent. We’re waiting on some pitching to get healthy, our no. 1 and our no. 2 also. We’re using some freshmen to pitch varsity right now, so it’s going to be tough. Skylar is one of our better pitchers. Even though she’s a freshman, she comes in and competes. She’s used to winning at a club level, so she’s bringing some things to us.”
Oklahoma Wesleyan improves to 14-8, 2-2 in KCAC play.
Bethel is 5-13, 2-2 in KCAC play. After Monday’s non-league games against Bacone, Bethel host Southwestern at 5 p.m. Wednesday in conference play.
“It was really difficult for us not to have a fall season when teams like Oklahoma Wesleyan had a fall season to play and get a lot of reps in,” Middleton said. “At Bethel, we decided not to have a fall season. We’re playing catch-up with a lot of teams in the conference. Hopefully, we get through some of that.”
Stefek (W, 6-2) and Knorr; Jackson (L, 1-3) and Overbay. Time — 1:43.
Ely (W, 6-4), Nelle 7, Thornhill (S, 1) 7 and Knorr; McMichael (L, 1-4), Duerr 4 and Uznanski. HR — BC: Pineda (3). Time — 1:57.
Mark Schnabel can be reached at email@example.com