Special to The Sun
EDMOND — Unbeaten Central Oklahoma continued its early-season success with an 8-1 romp past Arkansas Tech Sunday afternoon at the wind-blown UCO Courts.
The Bronchos improved to 3-0 with the easy win and have outscored their three opponents by a combined 23-4.
"I’m happy with the way we played today, especially considering how tough the conditions were due to wind,” head coach Natalya Nikitina-Helvey said. “It was a really close battle in doubles and could have gone either way, but we prevailed and it helped us to play more confident in singles.
“It was the first time playing in the wind for my new players and I was glad to see how they handled it. We need to keep working on our doubles play and just take one match at a time."
UCO took control by taking all three doubles matches by identical 8-5 scores.
ATU’s lone victory came at No. 1 singles, with the Bronchos sweeping the other five bouts. Rose Cabato pulled out a come-from-behind three-set triumph at No. 4, while Petra Pesic, Alina Gorina, Laura Klingert and Ilga Racika-Racko all had straight-set wins.
UCO 8, ARKANSAS TECH 1
No. 1 – Bohdana Sardak, ATU, def. Antonella Rossini, 6-2, 6-3.
No. 2 – Petra Pesic, UCO, def. Aida Castany, 6-1, 6-3.
No. 3 – Alina Gorina, UCO, def. Camila Roca, 6-1, 6-2.
No. 4 - Rose Cabato, UCO, def. Maria Aleman, 5-7, 6-2, 10-8.
No. 5 – Laura Klingert, UCO, def. Allison Grahl, 7-5, 6-0.
No. 6 – Ilga Racika-Racko, UCO, def. Nina Greenway, 6-4, 6-2.
No. 1 – Rossini/Cabato, UCO, def. Sardak/Sanches, 8-5.
No. 2 – Pesic/Gorina, UCO, def. Aleman/Roca, 8-5.
No. 3 – Klingert/Racika-Racko, UCO, def. Greenway/Grahl, 8-5.
BRONCHO SOFTBALL TAKES TWO IN TUCSON
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Central Oklahoma pulled out a pair of one-run wins over ranked opponents to capture the Silver Bracket championship at the prestigious NFCA Leadoff Classic here Sunday.
The No. 16-ranked Bronchos trimmed 24th-rated Dixie State 2-1 in the morning and then came back to edge No. 8 Augustana 5-4 in the title game to avenge an extra-inning pool-play loss to the Vikings.
UCO finished 4-2 in the three-day tournament and is now 7-3 on the season. The Bronchos make their home debut this weekend when they host the UCO Softball Classic.
“We had a good tournament and beat some outstanding teams,” head coach Genny Stidham said. “We lost a couple of tough games, but pulled out a few really good wins and showed that we can play with anybody in the country.”
Kalynn Schrock earned the pitching win against Dixie State, scattering six hits while striking out eight and walking just one in a complete-game outing.
The Bronchos had eight hits in the contest, but trailed 1-0 entering the sixth before taking the lead with two unearned runs. Brooke Zukerman and Sam Cool had one-out hits before both eventually scored on errors to give UCO the lead.
Schrock gave up a two-out hit in the top of the seventh before getting the final out to clinch the win.
The Bronchos trailed Augustana 4-1 after two innings, but pulled within 4-3 on Nicole Workman’s two-run home run in the third before taking the lead with two more runs in the fifth.
Kacie Edwards was hit by pitch to lead off the fifth, Workman followed with a hit and Sam Cool’s bunt single loaded the bases before a fielder’s choice got Edwards at the plate for the first out.
A wild pitch scored Workman with the tying run, a walk to Hayley Hudson loaded the bases again and Ashley Noles was hit by pitch to bring in Cool with the go-ahead run.
Schrock took over in the pitching circle for the final three innings to earn the win. She came on in the fourth inning with two runners on and got out of that jam before shutting down Augie in the final two innings.
SCHSCHROCK NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Central Oklahoma’s Kalynn Schrock was named Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Pitcher of the Week, the league office announced Tuesday.
The junior right-hander led the No. 16-ranked Bronchos to the silver bracket title at the rugged NFCA Leadoff Classic in Tucson, Ariz., last weekend, going 3-1 with a save and an 0.72 earned run average as UCO went 4-2 and beat four ranked teams.
Schrock saw action in all six games, striking out 40 batters while allowing just 19 hits, six walks and five runs (three earned) in 29 innings as opponents hit a mere .179 against her.
She threw a five-hitter with 10 strikeouts in a 1-0 win over No. 6 Minnesota State-Mankato, fanned eight in a complete-game 2-1 win over No. 24 Dixie State and allowed only one hit in four shutout innings in relief during 4-3 silver bracket finals victory over No. 8 Augustana.
Schrock was a prep standout at Choctaw High School and pitched in 47 games during two years at Tulsa before coming to UCO last fall.
The Bronchos (7-3) will make their home debut this weekend, hosting four games in the UCO Softball Classic.