OKLAHOMA CITY — Connors State College’s Kylie Morton drove in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead the fifth-seeded Cowgirls to a 2-1 victory over top seeded Northeastern A&M Friday night in the winner's bracket quarterfinals of the Women's Division I Region II Tournament here.
Mother Nature had the final word on Saturday's games at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. Overnight rain and a morning hail storm forced postponement of the games.
Both winners’ bracket quarterfinal games on Friday were played in a steady drizzle with the temperature dipping to 53.
“We'll just bump the tournament a day, if the weather will allow,” Lady Norse head coach Eric Iverson said. “There's nothing we can do but sit around and wait because it effects all six of us.”
With the loss, the sixth ranked Lady Norse are 50-5 on the season. NEO will face the Rose State College Lady Raiders (18-37) at 11 a.m. today in a loser's bracket semifinal game.
Rose State opened the tournament with a 10-1 loss to 13th-ranked Seminole State College at noon Friday. The Lady Raiders eliminated Carl Albert State College (25-31) 5-3 in Friday's second round.
Winner of the loser's bracket semifinal game plays the winner of the Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa versus Eastern State College winner at 3 p.m. today.
Connors State (36-23) squares off against Seminole (47-10) at 3 p.m. today in the winner's bracket finals. The Belles advanced by defeating Northern-Tonkawa 5-0 late Friday night.
The losers’ bracket finals starts at 2 p.m. Monday, followed by the championship game at 4 p.m. An “if necessary” title game will start at 6 p.m.
Winner of the regional advances to the National Junior College Athletic Association Women's Division I National Tournament May 12-15 in St. George, Utah.
“I don't know what to say,” Iverson said. “It wasn't that we didn't hit the ball hard against Connors, but the wind held everything up and they caught it.
“We didn't played a bad game, we just didn't tear it up offensively like we did the first game,” Iverson said. “I'm at a loss for words.”
NEO starter Kalleigh Chrz induced a pop out by Kelsey Campbell to start the bottom of the seventh inning.
Sarah Harvey followed with a single to left before advancing on a fielder's choice by Brooke Barnett. Sam Swanda walked before Morton lined a base hit off NEO’s Kyrie Panter to drive in Harvey and end the game.
With one out in the top of the seventh inning the Lady Norse created a 1-1 tie on a single by Lauren Iverson.
Pinch runner Lydia Niemeegers stole second. After Cara Dearmore popped out to shortstop, Kayla Odle lined an RBI single to left-center, scoring Niemeegers.
Swanda struck out five of the first nine batters she faced including three straight in the top of the third inning.
She finished with nine strikeouts and no walks while allowing only three hits and improving to 22-11 on the season.
A leadoff single by Lacie McCoy allowed Connors to score a run in the bottom of the third inning.
After Campbell fouled out to the catcher, Harvey walked. Bennett hit a ground ball to Iverson at short, but NEO second baseman Alyssa Poole came off the bag taking the throw as Harvey was safe to load the bases.
Swanda hit a sacrifice fly to left scoring McCoy to give the Cowgirls a 1-0 lead.
A double by Maddelyn Fraley and singles by Iverson and Odle accounted for the Lady Norse hits.
Chrz allowed two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and five walks as her record is 22-2 on the year.
Alex Orf led Connors with a double along with singles by Harvey, Morton, Sarah Ranken and McCoy.
Monty Franks, 542-5533, ext. 3054