RiverHawks softball looks to continue their five-game winning streak
TNE Editor

RiverHawks softball looks to continue their five-game winning streak


Austin Headlee

TNE Writer

The RiverHawks softball team is on a five-game win streak. The win streak includes conferences victories over Emporia State, Lincoln and Lindenwood University. They will look to extend the streak as they face two conference opponents this week.

The RiverHawks faced a six-point deficit during the first game of the doubleheader against Lindenwood University Lions, the fourth game of the RiverHawks’ streak. The Lions scored seven runs in the opening inning of the game which contributed to their 10-3 lead at the bottom of the sixth inning. The RiverHawks did everything they could offensively to overcome the deficit.

“We really tell our players ‘no high and no lows,’” said Clay Davis, NSU softball head coach. “I thought they kept a very work-like attitude during that game. They never quit on each other. We just needed a spark.”

The RiverHawks scored eight runs after receiving two outs in the sixth inning. Paige Gann, Muskogee senior first baseman, and Jessica Schuler, Sand Springs sophomore, each recorded a home run in the sixth inning. Schuler recorded two home runs in the same inning, a feat that only six other players have accomplished in NCAA Division II softball history.

“That really gave us the jump we needed, everyone else just fed off that,” said Davis. “Next thing we knew, we had scored 10 points. This offense can be very potent when the players are clicking.”

The RiverHawks have recorded nine home runs over the five-game stretch, the most over any five games this season. The team won 4-3 in a close game against the Emporia State University Hornets to start the winning streak. The RiverHawks blew out the Lincoln University Blue Tigers 8-0 in the first game of their doubleheader and won 5-4 in the second matchup. The RiverHawks beat the Lions in their second matchup 4-2. The team is now 10-4 in conference games and has an overall record of 22-15.

“You have to be happy anytime you go 4-0 in the MIAA conference,” said Gann. “We protected our home field and we set ourselves up for a big push to the end.”

Sydney Balderama, freshman pitcher from Tyler, Texas, has won her last three starts. Davis highlighted Haley Acrey, junior third basemen from Baytown, Texas, and Kelsey Harmon, junior shortstop from Washington, for making big defensive plays to contribute to the win streak. Addison Elbon, freshman right fielder from Vian, recorded eight hits and four RBIs over the five-game span.

The RiverHawks will put their attention on their opponents this week, the University of Central Missouri Jennies and the Southwest Baptist University Bearcats. The Jennies are 11-3 and the Bearcats are 3-9 in conference play.

"All of our focus is on UCM and SBU right now,” said Harmon. “We know what’s at stake and we really like the challenge of what those two teams will bring. I think we will be fine if we keep focusing on us and what we need to do to achieve our team goals.”

The RiverHawks begin the doubleheader against the Jennies at 3 p.m. on April 4 at the Robert N. Tompkins Field in Warrensburg, Mo. The RiverHawks play the Bearcats the next day at 1 p.m. at the SBU Softball Field.

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