ABILENE, Texas (Feb. 14, 2014) – Oklahoma Christian freshman pitcher Shea Coats didn’t seem rattled at all by her first opportunity to pitch against a NCAA Division I foe.
Coats threw a complete-game six-hitter and Kala Ratliff went 3-for-3, stole a base and drove in three runs as the Lady Eagles rolled past Abilene Christian 7-1 at Poly Wells Field on Friday night in the opening game of a three-game series between the sister Church of Christ institutions.
While OC (2-1) is in the second year of the NCAA Division II membership process, ACU (1-2) is in its first year of transition from Division II to Division I and now is a member of the Southland Conference. The Wildcats fell into an early hole against OC and never recovered.
“Our pitching and defense was outstanding tonight,” OC coach Tom Heath said. “Shea had a great game and our defense didn’t have a single error. We matched that with a great offense and we are extremely proud of the way the girls played tonight.”
Ratliff delivered a two-run single in the top of the first inning to stake OC to a 2-0 lead against ACU starter Emily Siedel (1-1). Kendra Pierce’s RBI single in the second made it 3-0 and the Lady Eagles added three more runs in the third off ACU reliever Peyton Mosley to double that lead, with Ratliff and Lauren Pittman recording run-scoring singles.
Meanwhile, Coats (2-0) cruised in the circle for OC. She held the Wildcats without a hit into the third inning and gave up only one run, on a run-scoring double by Anna Jones in the sixth. Coats struck out three and walked five.
OC rebuilt its lead to 7-1 in the seventh as Sarah Endres reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second base and scored on a single by Lauren Chatigny, who finished 3-for-5. Pierce, Pittman and Monique Elliott had two hits apiece for the Lady Eagles, who had 13 hits as a team.
OC and ACU will play a doubleheader on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m.