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Coats tosses 1-hitter as Lady Eagles split doubleheader at Texas-Permian Basin

Shea Coats threw a complete-game one-hitter for OC in a win at Texas-Permian Basin.
Shea Coats threw a complete-game one-hitter for OC in a win at Texas-Permian Basin.

ODESSA, Texas (Feb. 28, 2014) – Oklahoma Christian had offensive issues on Friday against Texas-Permian Basin, but came away with a doubleheader split thanks to an outstanding pitching performance in the circle from Shea Coats.

Coats threw a one-hitter to lead OC to a 3-0 win over UTPB in the opening game of a three-game Heartland Conference softball series, but UTPB’s Holly Herrington blanked the Lady Eagles in game two as the Falcons won 3-0.

OC (7-7, 1-1 Heartland) and UTPB (4-15, 1-1) will play the deciding game of the series on Saturday afternoon.

“I was encouraged by our effort in the circle and on defense, as we had a much better day defensively than we did last weekend,” OC coach Tom Heath said.

But the Lady Eagles managed only 11 hits in the doubleheader, something that concerned Heath.

“Overall, I was very disappointed in our hitting throughout both games,” Heath said. “We had a hard time stringing hits together and struggled getting the ball on the ground.

“In the second game I was proud of the girls for fighting after (UTPB) scored three runs the first inning and we kept them from scoring the rest of the game. Unfortunately, we couldn’t put our hits together to scratch out any runs to get ourselves in the game.

In the first game against Coats (5-2), UTPB managed only a third-inning single by Jennie Quam. Coats struck out nine batters and walked four while going the distance for the third time this season.

The Lady Eagles scratched out a run in the first inning off UTPB starter Desiree Valero (1-9). Kala Ratliff led off with a single and eventually scored on a single by Kendra Pierce. OC picked up another run in the second, as Monique Elliott reached on a bunt single and came home on an infield single by Sarah Endres.

OC picked up an insurance run in the seventh. Valero hit Lauren Pittman with a pitch, and Pittman stole second base, went to third on a fielding error by UTPB shortstop Niki DiSera and scored on a single to right field by Abby Taliaferro.

OC starter Taylor Mosher (2-4) was a hard-luck loser in game two, allowing only three hits. But two of them came during a three-run first inning for the Falcons and one was a two-run home run by Taleas Marble that put UTPB up 3-0. Mosher struck out two batters and walked three.

Herrington (3-5) didn’t record any strikeouts but relied on her defense, allowing only one OC baserunner past second base while pitching her shutout.