June 8, 2016 Edition

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Lady Eagles have stellar season

WBC's Hayley Overbay smacks a single to left field in the first inning of the Lady Eagles' game against Oklahoma City University during the NAIA Softball World Series in Sioux City, Iowa, on May 31. Eventual champion OCU ended Williams' season with a 7-1 victory. The Lady Eagles finished in sixth place at the tournament.

The Williams Baptist College softball season came to end on May 31 after a 7-1 loss to Oklahoma City University, the top-ranked team in the NAIA. The loss ends a historic run for the Lady Eagles, as they won the American Midwest Conference Tournament before sweeping through the LSU-A opening-round bracket and winning two games at the NAIA World Series.

Many milestones were reached during the season, including a top-six finish in the NAIA World Series. The Lady Eagles also reached the 40-win mark for the third time in program history. Head coach Laura Tucker won more games in her first year than any other WBC softball coach.

"It definitely was a lot of fun," said Tucker. "I learned a lot about myself and the team this season. It was really special to me this first year to go this far."

Four Lady Eagles wore the jersey in an official game for the last time.

Callie Brooks finished her career with a .335 batting average. She had 181 hits, scored 123 runs, hit 26 home runs, drove in 152 RBIs and stole 33 bases. She also had a career slugging percentage of .615. The outfielder has been a staple of success for the WBC softball team all four years of her career as a Lady Eagle.

Andrea Drake finished her two-year career at WBC with a .354 batting average, 103 hits, 59 runs scored, 15 home runs, 66 RBIs and four stolen bases. She finished with a .560 slugging percentage. Drake has been a key force in the middle of the WBC lineup after transferring from Crowder Community College.

Hayley Overbay finished her career as a Lady Eagle with a .262 average, 48 hits, 26 runs scored, one home run, 23 RBIs and two stolen bases. Statistics do not cover the amount of value that Overbay had as the anchor of the WBC defense, and her leadership behind the plate will be missed.

Susannah Pugh finished her career at Williams with a .321 batting average, 94 hits, 68 runs scored, eight doubles, seven triples and six stolen bases. Pugh was a major force at the top of the WBC lineup in her junior and senior seasons.

On her four graduating seniors, Tucker noted: "They have come together and they have really led the way. As far as family, they just love each other. They believed they would have a great senior year and they did."

After a scoreless first inning of play, Oklahoma City rallied the bats in the second inning. The Stars got three hits and scored the first run of the game on Kali Pugh's RBI single. OCU had the bases loaded and one out, but Jaci Smith hit a line drive at Jordyn Barkowsky, who caught the ball and fired it to Haley Hambrick for a double play.

After a quick 1-2-3 inning for Williams in the bottom of the second, the Stars added another run in the third. The four-hole hitter, Leslie Miller, drew her second walk of the contest. Madi Ellis then doubled to left to put runners on second and third with one out. OCU's pinch runner, Kayley Humann, raced home to score the second run of the game on a passed ball. Rylee Rogers froze the next batter on a full count with the off-speed pitch for the second out. Hambrick fielded a ground ball at first for the final out of the inning.

Overbay picked up WBC's first hit on a single to left with one out. After a Madelyn Poe groundout, Overbay moved up to second with two outs. Susannah Pugh tried to find a gap in left field, but OCU's Steph Koisher moved up and made a nice catch in shallow left for the final out of the inning.

For the third straight inning, the Stars added to their lead as Jaci Miller hit a three-run homer to right to extend the lead to 5-0. OCU wasn't done scoring in the fourth as Leslie Miller's RBI double and Madi Ellis' RBI single helped increase the lead to 7-0.

After a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half of the fourth, Catherine Totty came in to pitch, working around a leadoff single and a walk to notch the first scoreless inning for the Lady Eagles since the first inning. OCU's Georgia Wall kept WBC off base for the second straight inning in the bottom half of the fifth.

In the sixth, Totty struck out the first batter of the inning on a check-swing. After a single, Erica Arguello came into the game and got the OKC batter to hit into a double play on a line drive to Hambrick, who made a nice catch near the bag and dove back to first base and tagged the base with her glove to beat the runner.

Arguello worked around a leadoff single to get three straight outs and send WBC up to bat. Williams would not go quietly in the seventh. Brooks led off the inning with a walk, then Brooke Mason reached first on a walk to give WBC runners on first and second with no outs. A nice diving play by the Stars shortstop produced a 6-3 double play. Ashley Lyons drove in the only run of the game for WBC, on a single down the line in left that scored Brooks.

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