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Coats’ 1-hitter, Collins’ clutch double give Lady Eagles split at No. 3 St. Mary’s

OC freshman Shea Coats threw a complete-game one-hitter as the Lady Eagles won 3-0 at No. 3-ranked St. Mary's (Texas).
OC freshman Shea Coats threw a complete-game one-hitter as the Lady Eagles won 3-0 at No. 3-ranked St. Mary's (Texas).

SAN ANTONIO (April 13, 2014) – This year’s Oklahoma Christian softball team has proven it’s simply not intimidated by any team’s national ranking. A Sunday afternoon doubleheader at No. 3 St. Mary’s (Texas) was the latest example.

Freshman pitcher Shea Coats threw a one-hitter and Danielle Collins delivered a clutch two-run pinch-hit double in the sixth inning as OC beat St. Mary’s 3-0, dealing the Rattlers their first Heartland Conference loss this season.

St. Mary’s took the first game of the doubleheader 11-2 in five innings, clinching the regular-season conference title. The teams will play the final game of the series on Monday.

OC (29-14, 11-6 Heartland) is a respectable 3-5 this season against teams currently ranked in the NCAA Division II top 25, owning wins over No. 5 Emporia State (Kan.) and defending national champion and No. 22 Central Oklahoma in addition to the win over St. Mary’s (41-8, 16-1).

In addition to becoming the first league team to beat St. Mary’s this season, the Lady Eagles also solidified their hold on third place in the conference standings.

Coats (16-2) and St. Mary’s pitcher Maricela Bissaro (8-3) traded blanks for five innings, with Coats not allowing a hit and Bissaro allowing only one, before the Lady Eagles broke through in the top of the sixth inning.

Monique Elliott led off the inning with a single up the middle and Lauren Pittman sacrificed her to second base. Pinch-hitter Jordan Chism singled, but Elliott was thrown out at home plate trying to score. Then OC caught a break, as Kala Ratliff reached base on a throwing error by shortstop Miranda Medina. Chism went to second base on the play, then Sarah Endres re-entered the game to run for her.

Collins followed with a two-run double to right-center field, and Kendra Pierce doubled to right field, scoring Collins to make it 3-0.

Coats got into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the sixth, walking the leadoff batter then surrendering the Rattlers’ only hit, a one-out single to center field by Taylor Vidrine. But Coats retired the next two batters to end the threat, then set the Rattlers down in order in the seventh. Coats struck out five and walked two while throwing her 12th complete game of the season.

In the opener, St. Mary’s jumped on OC starter Taylor Mosher (8-6) for five runs in the second inning, then scored six more in the third off reliever Haley Squier to take an 11-0 lead. Vidrine had a two-run homer in the second and Haley Richter had a two-run double in the third for St. Mary’s.

OC scored twice in the fourth against St. Mary’s ace Emily Brittain (22-4), with Niki Davidson keying the rally with a RBI single, but the Lady Eagles couldn’t avoid the run-rule loss.