Feb. 11—The sixth-ranked University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma softball team started the season on a high note.
The Drovers traveled out of Oklahoma for their first games of the season in Texas on Friday and Saturday, and the team managed to get out of the event unscathed. The Drovers won a pair of games in extra innings and exited the event with a 4-0 record on the season.
Science & Arts defeated Tabor College 2-1 in an extra-inning game and defeated No. 10 Midland University 2-1 in another extra-inning game. The Drovers then picked up a 14-0 win over Oklahoma Wesleyan University and a 4-3 win over Missouri Baptist University.
Drover pitcher breaks record
Jayden Anderson's collegiate career started with a bang.
The pitcher made her first collegiate start in Science & Arts' opening game of the season against Tabor, and she delivered a needed performance that also broke a record. Along with allowing just one hit in eight innings of work, Anderson struck out 19 batters in the victory.
According to the school, those 19 strikeouts broke a record that Emily Cerny previously held. Cerny, of course, became the NAIA's all-time winningest pitcher during her career with the Drovers.
Science & Arts offense steps up late
The Science & Arts offense came through late in games.
In the three games that were not run-rule wins, Science & Arts scored six runs in the fifth inning or later. Three of those runs came in the two eighth innings that the Drovers played, and the other three came in the fifth inning against Missouri Baptist.
Against Tabor, Jadyn Goucher broke open a scoreless game in the top of the eighth inning with a two-run base hit. Against Midland, the Science & Arts offense stepped up in the bottom of the eighth inning and earned a win with the help of Macenzie Ruth.
The Drovers trailed Missouri Baptist 2-1 entering the fifth inning, and the Drovers stepped up by scoring three runs. Those three runs turned out to be enough.
Former Chickasha standout homers
Former Chickasha standout Leighanne Eaton is already making big plays for the Drovers.
Eaton now has a home run in the statistics category after she went yard for the Drovers against Oklahoma Wesleyan. She hit a two-run home run in that game and finished the game with two hits and three RBIs.
Eaton, Anderson, Goucher, Ruth and Sophie Williams all earned all-tournament recognition for the Drovers.