Story by Alfred Kojima, NAIA Media Assistant
Pictures courtesy of NAIAPictures.com
COLUMBUS, Ga. – (Box Score) No. 8 Oklahoma City scored six runs in the first three innings and posted a six-run sixth inning as the team logged a 15-2 victory over No. 9 Simpson (Calif.), in the first round of the 2014 NAIA Softball World Series at the South Commons Softball Complex on Friday.
The game ended in the sixth inning due to the run-rule going into effect.
The Stars (53-11) move into the winner’s bracket of the double-elimination event and will meet No. 1 LSU-Alexandria (La.) Saturday at 7 p.m. EDT. The Red Hawks (39-8) play the loser between No. 4 St. Gregory’s (Okla.) and No. 5 Reinhardt (Ga.) in an elimination game Saturday at 10 a.m.
Oklahoma City collected 12 hits on the day. Junior Jocelin Diaz went 3-for-4, with 5 RBI and three runs scored. Four others added two hits each.
The Stars took no one by surprise with their offensive outburst as they rank in the top 10 nationally with over seven runs per game.
“She’s (Diaz) a difference maker.” Said Oklahoma City University coach Phil McSpadden. “We have two or three players on this team that we count on. It’s tough for us to win if they’re not leading us and she’s one of them.”
Senior pitcher Danielle Fox started for the Stars, allowing two earned runs and four hits while striking out five to earn her 14th victory of the season.
Simpson picked up six base hits. Junior Ryan Norton went 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored.
The Stars jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning without the benefit of a base hit. Sophomore Kyndra Holasek scored on an error, junior Jamie Rateliff scored on a bases-loaded walk and Fox added a scoring fly ball.
RBI doubles by Diax and Holasek in the second inning, followed by a solo home run by Rateliff (seventh of season) in the third, made it a 6-0 game.
“They (Simpson) are a much better ball club then they showed,” McSpadden said. “We had some good things happen early, and it kind of snowballed from there.”
In the third, the Red Hawks pushed across their two runs on an RBI double by Norton and an RBI single by sophomore Kara Wall.
Two runs in the fourth by the Stars, courtesy of a two-run home run by freshman Kylee Rounsaville (ninth of season) and a solo run in the fifth, boosted the lead to 9-2. OCU then scored six runs in the sixth inning, keyed by a grand slam by Diaz (seventh of season) to close out the scoring.
The 34th Annual Softball World Series is a 10-team, double-elimination event hosted by the Columbus Sports Council.
For more information, including updated bracket, stats and live streaming, click here.