Transfer Leitka starts strong for USAO Dovers softball program
GAME 1 & 2, Feb 6th
CHICKASHA– In the first two games for Drover softball of the 2015 campaign, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (2-0) swept day one against NCAA Division II teams in the SWOSU Festival.
In game one, USAO took on host Southwestern Oklahoma State (0-4) and ended up with the 3-2 victory after a two-run top of the seventh to seal the win.
The Drovers were down 2-1 heading into that inning when Sevie Carel nailed a clutch single down the right field line to tie the game up with a run by Ciara Kuestersteff.
Carel went 3-for-3 on the game and would later score the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Kaylin Taylor.
Pitching in game one was newcomer Summer Leitka (2-0), who got the complete game pitching all seven innings while striking out nine batters.
In game two against Newman University (1-1), it was late game heroics that made the difference for the Drovers. The Jets held the lead for nearly the entirety of the game until the five-run bottom of the fifth happened.
Kayla Adams was the big bat on game two going 2-for-3 at the plate, while grabbing the go ahead three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth to secure the 8-6 victory over the Jets.
Leitka (Seminole Nation of Oklahoma) pitched in relief of starter Tate Landmark and went four and two-thirds innings to grab her second win of the day. In game two, she struck out six batters to round out her total of 15 strikeouts to start the season.
GAME 3, Feb 7th
CHICKASHA– On the final day at the Southwestern OSU Softball Festival, The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (3-1) earned the split to finish the tournament with three wins.
In game one, the Drovers took on Eastern New Mexico University (1-1) and the Zias secured the 8-5 victory. Offense was the story for both teams as the teams combined for seven runs in the first inning alone.
In the bottom of the first, USAO was trailing 4-0 when freshman Shania Beck hit her first home run as a Drover, a three-run bomb, to cut the deficit to one on the game. Beck finished 2-for-4, including a leadoff single to start a one run bottom of the sixth.
Sevie Carel who has started the season off with the offensive power for USAO went 2-for-2 with a walk. Her sixth inning single caused the Zias to throw a bad relay throw to score Mikeala Bray who was pinch running for Beck in the inning.
Game two was better for the Drovers as the came from behind to force the game into extra innings before grabbing the 8-7 victory in the bottom of the eighth over Washburn University (0-1).
Dani Warren had one lone hit in game two but it turned out to be a big difference in the game as it was a base clearing double to drive in three of the Drover eight runs in. The hit sparked the four run bottom of the second to get the USAO offense going.
Kaylin Taylor went 3-for-5, including the game-tying triple in the seventh to tie the game, while Beck hit the go ahead run in the bottom of the eighth with her single scoring Warren who was placed on second due to international tie breaker rule.
The winning pitcher for the Drovers was Summer Leitka, who got her second complete game victory after striking out 10 batters to start off 3-0 on the year.
The next tournament for USAO is the OBU Valentine’s Festival. All four games on Friday and Saturday will be played at Saint Gregory’s softball field. The first game is scheduled 10 a.m. Friday against Central Baptist out of Arkansas.