The Edmond Sun
HAYS, Kan. —
Sam Cool’s clutch hit and Kalynn Schrock’s masterful pitching paved the way for Central Oklahoma as the No. 19-ranked Bronchos slipped past Minot State 2-0 in the first round of the NCAA Division II Central Regional I Tournament in Hays, Kan. Friday.
Cool came through with a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning to snap a scoreless tie and Schrock escaped a seventh-inning jam to finish off a complete-game four-hitter in moving UCO into today’s 1 p.m. game against the Fort Hays State-Emporia State winner.
“I think we came out a little tight,” said head coach Genny Stidham, whose team improved to 43-11. “We didn’t play as relaxed as I would like and we definitely didn’t hit the ball as well as I would like, but a win is a win.”
UCO didn’t do much offensively after a first-inning threat until Kaylee Brunson led off the sixth with a single to left field and the speedy sophomore quickly swiped second, which led the Beavers to intentionally walk slugger Kacie Edwards.
Brunson advanced to third on Hayley Hudson’s long fly ball that was caught for the second out and pinch-runner Hannah Justus stole second before Cool ripped a double down the left field line that easily scored both runners.
“I just wanted to put the ball in play and make something happen,” Cool said. “I got a pitch inside and was able to pull it.”
MSU put a score in the Bronchos in the top of the seventh, getting a lead-off single and walk to put two runners on. Those runners advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt before Schrock got the final two outs on easy pop-ups to Justus at shortstop.
Schrock walked one and struck out seven in addition to scattering four hits, retiring 11 batters in a row during one stretch. The junior left-hander out of Choctaw improved to 26-6 with her sixth shutout and 24th complete game of the season.
UCO managed just five hits, getting two from Brunson.
The Bronchos had a prime scoring chance in their initial at bat after loading the bases with no outs on singles by Ally Dziadula and Brunson and a walk to Edwards, but MSU ace Mandy Greenberg got consecutive strikeouts and an infield pop-up to thwart the threat.
The Beavers had the bases full with one out in the top of the second before Schrock escaped the jam with an easy fly out and a grounder to third baseman Nicole Workman for a force-out at third.
MSU didn’t get another hit until the sixth when it used a pair of singles to put runners at first and second with two outs, but Schrock ended that mini-threat with a strikeout.