OC’s Pierce, Coats sweep NCCAA softball student-athlete of week awards

Kendra Pierce, the MVP of the NCCAA Central Region softball tournament, was named Tuesday as the NCCAA student-athlete of the week.
Kendra Pierce, the MVP of the NCCAA Central Region softball tournament, was named Tuesday as the NCCAA student-athlete of the week.

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 13, 2014) – Strong performances in last week’s regional tournament by Oklahoma Christian’s Kendra Pierce and Shea Coats gave the Lady Eagles a sweep Tuesday of the National Christian College Athletic Association softball student-athlete of the week honors.

Pierce, a junior shortstop from Oklahoma City who starred at Westmoore High School, took the NCCAA hitting honor. She was named as the tournament’s most valuable player as Oklahoma Christian swept to the NCCAA Central Region title, outscoring four opponents by a combined total of 47-4 and earning its first national-tournament berth in 11 years.

Pierce batted .688 (11-for-16) with three doubles, nine RBIs and 10 runs scored. She consistently drove in runs with clutch hits and she not only hit the ball well, but scored all but one time she reached base. She raised her batting average by 39 points during the week (to .367) and also played errorless defense at one of the game's most difficult defensive positions.

It was the second time this season Pierce received the NCCAA weekly hitting honor. She also won it once last season as a sophomore.

Coats, a freshman right-hander from Tuttle, extended her winning streak to 20 straight decisions with a pair of complete-game outings. She threw a three-hit shutout with nine strikeouts against Colorado Christian in a 9-0 win in the winners' bracket finale, then gave up just three hits and one earned run as OC beat defending region winner Central Baptist (Ark.) 5-2 in the championship round, securing the Lady Eagles' first national-tournament berth in 11 years.

She struck out 12 batters with no walks in the win over Central Baptist, improving her record to 22-2 and lowering her ERA to 1.46. Coats now has received the NCCAA weekly pitching honor four times, all since the beginning of April.

Second-seeded OC (38-15) will begin play in the NCCAA Championship in Troutville, Va., on Thursday, against either Campbellsville (Ky.) or Mississippi College.