Special to The Sun
SAN ANTONIO —
Emily Ditmore and Kalynn Schrock sparked Central Oklahoma to an opening-game rout of Tarleton State as the Bronchos split two games in the Rattler Invitational in south Texas Friday.
Ditmore belted a three-run home run in the first inning and Schrock threw a two-hit shutout in an 8-0 run-rule romp over the TexAnns to open the day, but UCO dropped a 6-3 decision to state rival Rogers State in its final game of the day.
The defending national champion Bronchos, now 7-6, return to action Saturday for games against host St. Mary’s and Midwestern State before finishing the three-day event Sunday against Eastern New Mexico.
Kaylee Brunson and Ashton Smith had three hits apiece to lead a 12-hit attack in the Tarleton State rout.
Schrock allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out seven in earning her second shutout of the season.
The Bronchos took control early, with Ditmore’s three-run homer highlighting the big first-inning uprising that also included run-scoring singles by Ally Dziadula and Brooke Zukerman.
Smith added an RBI single in the second to make it 7-0 and Central Oklahoma finished off the rout in the bottom of the fifth. Brunson and Devyn Frazier opened the fifth with back-to-back singles before both advanced on a passed ball and Brunson scored on Sam Cool’s grounder to end it.
The Bronchos fell behind 2-0 in the first inning against Rogers State, but came back to tie it with single runs in the top of the second and third innings.
The Hillcats broke loose for four runs in the bottom of the third to move in front 6-2 and UCO managed only a run-scoring single by Hannah Justus the rest of the way, three times leaving the bases loaded.
Brunson had another three-hit game to lead the Bronchos, who also got two hits from Frazier and Justus. But UCO left 13 runners on base and committed three crucial errors, which was too much to overcome.