BARTLESVILLE, OK— The McPherson College softball team clinched a share of the regular championship with a pair of wins on Saturday on the road against Oklahoma Wesleyan University. The Bulldogs wrapped up the season at 31-14, their best finish in program history, and had a 20-4 mark in the KCAC. This is the second time they have finished the regular season atop the KCAC standings, the first was a share back in 2003.
The Bulldogs finished the regular season, winning 16 of their final 17 games, and they capped it off with two wins over the OKWU Eagles on Saturday. The Bulldogs opened the series with a 3-2 win in game one, then completed the sweep with a win in the finale, 8-3.
After earning a win in both games on Thursday against KWU, Christie Betker was back in the circle for the Bulldogs in the opener on Saturday. Betker pitched another complete game, allowing two runs on seven hits, with two strikeouts and two walks. She got just enough run support from her offense, pushing across three runs on three hits, each of them coming from a different Bulldog hitter.
Two of the three hits were singles by Kylecia Taylor and Chelsea Conrad. The third turned out being the game winner, a three-run bomb by Maile Deutsch.
All of the scoring in game one took place in the sixth inning. Deutsch's three run home run put the Bulldogs up 3-0 after the top of the inning. In the bottom half, the Eagles put up two runs, cutting the Bulldog lead to one run, 3-2. The Eagles' rally would come up short as Betker and the Bulldog defense was able to shut out the Eagles in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
The Bulldog offense found its groove early in the second game. They put up six runs on four hits in the top of the first, and from there, cruised to an 8-3 victory. The early run support allowed the Bulldog pitchers to relax and play loose. Brittany Baroni got the start in the circle in game two, and she worked the first six innings, allowing just one run on three hits. In the seventh, the Bulldogs went to the bullpen and brought in Sydney Lang. She worked the final inning, and was charged with two runs on two hits.
At the plate, the Bulldog offense scored their eight runs on 11 hits, led by Destiny Bacon, who finished the game with a 3-for-4 performance with a double, a run scored and a run batted in. Joining her with multiple hits were Jenna Christensen, who was 2-for-4 with an RBI and one run scored, and Conrad, who went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
"I'm so happy for these kids," Bulldog Head Coach Tony Segovia said. "They put in a lot of work and it truly is something special for them to be rewarded. Going on the road for six games and going 5-1 says a lot about what they have accomplished. I'm super proud of them all. We still have some work to do next week in the conference. We will enjoy this one over the weekend and then get back to work on Monday."
Segovia also gave a shout out to the McPherson College mens's and women's tennis teams saying, "Great day for McPherson College and congrats to Both Tennis programs."
Despite being Co-Champions with Avila, the Eagles will be the No.1 seed in next week's KCAC Tournament because they had a better record against the top teams than the Bulldogs. Pairings for the tournament will come out on Monday, and the tournament will begin on Wednesday.