Don Weast, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
OKLAHOMA CITY – The eighth seeded Emporia State softball team fell 10-6 to top seeded Central Oklahoma Sunday afternoon in the MIAA Tournament championship. The Hornets scored six runs on nine hits on the day.
The Bronchos scored six runs on five hits in the top of the first inning to take an early 6-0 lead. The Hornets clawed their way back into the game, scoring three runs on two hits and taking advantage of two Central Oklahoma errors in the bottom of the first. Emporia State scored all three of their runs when Jacie Stephens had a fielder’s choice sac bunt that scored McKenna Davis. Stephens forced the Broncho catcher, Tori Collet, to make a throwing error when she attempted to advance to second. The throw landed and rolled in the outfield, allowing Stephens and Annie Rockley to score. After one complete inning, Emporia State trailed 6-3.
Central Oklahoma had a solo home run in the top of the second to extend their lead 7-3 over Emporia State.
The Hornet defense held the Bronchos scoreless through the next three innings before they had a rally of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning. McKenna Davis tripled to right center to plate Caitlin VanVleck after VanVleck had reached on a walk. Back-to-back singles from Rockley and Hailey Cope, Rockley’s a bunt single, allowed Davis to score, Hornets trailing 7-5. A Stephens sac fly allowed Rockley to score and Emporia State to trail just 7-6 headed to the sixth inning.
Central Oklahoma scored three runs on four hits in the sixth inning to take a 10-6 lead. The Hornets left three runners on base in the final two innings before falling to the Bronchos for the second time in the MIAA Tournament.
Rockley led the Hornets, hitting three for four with two runs scored. Davis and Cope each went two for four, Davis with two runs. Eryn Stockman fell to 24-14 on the season, pitching 1.1 inning and allowing six runs on five hits. Holly Hinkel pitched the middle 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on five hits with three strikeouts.