Athletic News: RSS Feed Johnston, Dalgliesh make all-conference men’s golf team from OC WACO, Texas (April 23, 2014) – A pair of Oklahoma Christian golfers who combined to win three tournaments during the 2013-14 campaign have received All-Heartland Conference honors, which were announced late Tuesday.

Sam Johnston made the conference’s first-team honor list while Alasdair Dalgliesh was a second-team selection by the conference’s coaches.

Johnston, who as a freshman became OC’s first NCAA Division II All-American in any sport, added a pair of individual wins as a sophomore, taking the Western New Mexico Fall Intercollegiate in Goodyear, Ariz., in October and the Dr. Troy Bledsoe Skyhawk Shootout in Palm Desert, Calif., earlier this month. He has four career wins in two years with the Eagles.

In 2013-14, the San Diego product led the conference and finished eighth among NCAA Division II players in stroke average at 72.15. He also finished tops among conference golfers (and No. 17 nationally) in the Division II head-to-head player standings.

Last year, he was a first-team all-conference pick and went on to earn Division II All-Freshman Team honors in addition to All-America second-team honors.

Dalgliesh, a senior from West Sussex, England, in October won the Bill Ross Intercollegiate in Overland Park, Kan. – a primarily NCAA Division I event – for his third career tournament title. He finished sixth in the conference and 68th nationally in stroke average at 73.54 and was fifth among Heartland golfers (and No. 80 nationally) in the Division II head-to-head standings.

“It is a great honor to see Sam and Ali recognized on the all-conference teams,” OC coach David Lynn said. “It validates all the hard work they put in over the past eight months. They both are extremely deserving on this honor.”

Jose Hernandez of St. Edward’s (Texas) was named as the player of the year, while his teammate, Dillon Van Essen, was the freshman of the year and their coach, Todd Ohlmeyer, was the coach of the year. OC players were not considered for individual awards, as the conference has chosen to not allow its members who are in the NCAA Division II membership process to compete for those honors.

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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:30:00 CDT e0d090e2-f0db-438e-ae8e-66e4cb3aee06
Lady Eagles place 2 on all-conference women’s golf team WACO, Texas (April 23, 2014) – Oklahoma Christian placed two players on the All-Heartland Conference second-team women’s golf honor list, released late Tuesday.

Anna Arrese Cortadellas and India Matthews made the list, which was voted on by conference coaches.

Arrese Cortadellas, a junior from Barcelona, Spain, was second in the conference (and 14th among NCAA Division II players) in stroke average in 2013-14 at 75.52 and was third in the head-to-head player standings among Heartland golfers. She has finished in the top 10 in 23 of her 24 collegiate tournaments.

She was a first-team All-Sooner Athletic Conference pick as a freshman and a first-team All-Heartland pick as a sophomore, when she led the league in stroke average. As a junior, she twice was named as the Heartland’s player of the week by the league’s sports information directors.

Matthews, a freshman from Merrimac, Australia, was sixth in the conference (and 50th nationally) in stroke average at 77.24 and ninth among Heartland players in the Golfstat head-to-head standings.

“It’s very satisfying to see Anna and India being recognized on the all-conference team,” OC Director of Golf David Lynn said. “I am extremely proud of the year our women’s team had on and off the golf course. They are great representatives of Oklahoma Christian.”

Haley Haught of St. Edward’s (Texas) was named as the player of the year, while Allison Howarth of St. Mary’s (Texas) was the freshman of the year and Jennifer McNeil of St. Edward’s was the coach of the year. OC players were not considered for individual awards, as the conference has chosen to not allow its members who are in the NCAA Division II membership process to compete for those honors.

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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:45:00 CDT 7a0b355c-5052-46f5-89b8-7a9ee84d473b
Lady Eagles up to No. 6 in NCCAA softball rankings GREENVILLE, S.C. (April 22, 2014) – A sizzling stretch of softball has Oklahoma Christian rising up the National Christian College Athletic Association rankings.

OC, which has won 19 of its last 22 games, moved up two spots to No. 6 in this week’s NCCAA rankings, the Lady Eagles’ highest placement since OC joined the organization before the 2012-13 academic year.

The NCCAA rankings are based on the Burbridge Power Rating, a formula used by the national organization to seed regional and national tournaments. OC (32-14) has seen its Burbridge rating steadily increase and it was at 5.391 this week after a three-game sweep of Newman (Kan.).

The Lady Eagles remained at No. 2 in the Central Region rankings, behind national No. 4 Central Baptist (Ark.), which is 31-7.

The national top 10 consists of Shorter (Ga.), Simpson (Calif.), Campbellsville (Ky.), Central Baptist, Spring Arbor (Mich.), OC, Cedarville (Ohio), Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.), Southeastern (Fla.) and Azusa Pacific (Calif.).

OC will host Heartland Conference rival Texas A&M International on Friday and Saturday to close the regular season. The Lady Eagles also will host the Central Region tournament, which is tentatively scheduled for May 8-10 at Tom Heath Field.

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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:15:00 CDT e28cbe4b-8466-43d7-a5f6-0562a5f5cd4f
Piedmont’s Peters becomes latest to sign with Oklahoma Christian basketball PIEDMONT, Okla. (April 22, 2014) – Cameron Peters, who helped lead Piedmont High School to the Class 5A quarterfinals as a senior, has signed a letter of intent to play men’s basketball at Oklahoma Christian, OC coach Dan Hays said Tuesday.

Peters, a 6-foot-4 wing player, averaged 15.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 47.4 percent from 3-point range for Piedmont this past season.

“We are looking forward to having Cameron as an Eagle,” Hays said. “He is a versatile, multi-position player who can shoot the three and play inside with his back to the basket. He was a big reason coach Ryan Wagner’s Piedmont Wildcats were in the state tournament two of the last three years.”

Peters earned a slew of honors the past three seasons at Piedmont. As a sophomore, he received honorable mention on The Oklahoman’s Little All-City team after averaging 14.0 points per game. As a junior, he was a preseason and postseason Class 5A All-State selection by the newspaper and made its second-team Big All-City honor squad after averaging 18.8 points per game. He also was named as the Suburban Conference player of the year.

This past season, he against was preseason Class 5A All-State pick by The Oklahoman and received honorable mention on the postseason Class 5A All-State and Big All-City squads.

OC is in the second year of the three-year NCAA Division II membership process and is a full member of the Heartland Conference. The Eagles went 10-17 last season.

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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:30:00 CDT 58cb28f5-bc13-48df-88ee-1c10b3a8d9c2
Wallace, Keirns give OC sweep of NCCAA weekly men’s track and field honors OKLAHOMA CITY (April 22, 2014) – A pair of strong performances last week at the prestigious Kansas Relays has resulted in honors for two Oklahoma Christian track and field performers.

Distance runner Bryant Keirns and decathlete Austin Wallace were named Tuesday as the National Christian College Athletic Association men’s outdoor track and field student-athletes of the week, giving the Eagles a sweep of the awards for the first time since joining the NCCAA before the 2012-13 academic year.

Keirns took the track honor after his second-place finish in the 5,000 meters on Thursday in Lawrence, Kan. He finished with a time of 14:46.10, the second-best in the event this spring among NCCAA runners.

The sophomore from Wichita, Kan., also ran on OC’s 4x1600-meter relay team on Friday at the Kansas Relays. Keirns’ leg of 4:25.63 was the fastest on the team and helped the Eagles finish second in the race in 17:51.93.

It was the third time this year that Keirns has received a weekly NCCAA honor, having done so once in January during the indoor season as well as two weeks ago in outdoor competition.

Wallace, a sophomore from Edmond, took the NCCAA field award after competing in his second decathlon in as many weeks. He overcame less-than-optimal windy and cold conditions on Wednesday and Thursday in Lawrence to post a score of 6,083, the second-best score of his career. The only two competitors to top Wallace each came from a NCAA Division I school.

During the 10-event competition, Wallace won both the 100 meters (10.88 seconds) and 400 meters (52.99 seconds). He has qualified for the NCCAA Outdoor Championships in four individual decathlon events, as well as in the overall decathlon. He ranks second in the NCCAA in the decathlon.

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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:30:00 CDT 62cea0d7-1059-49a5-b453-e02c16370815
Davidson, Coats pull off another sweep, this of NCCAA weekly honors OKLAHOMA CITY (April 22, 2014) – For the second straight day, Oklahoma Christian freshmen Niki Davidson and Shea Coats pulled off an awards sweep, as they were named Tuesday as the National Christian College Athletic Association softball student-athletes of the week.

Coats, a pitcher from Tuttle, and Davidson, a catcher from Oklahoma City who starred at Community Christian School in Norman, were honored after leading the Lady Eagles to a three-game sweep of Heartland Conference rival Newman (Kan.).

The Lady Eagles beat Newman 3-0 and 10-5 on Thursday and 8-0 on Friday, wins that clinched a third-place regular-season conference finish for OC, which has won 19 of their past 22 games.

Davidson received the NCCAA hitting honor after leading the Lady Eagles offensively during the series, going 6-for-8 with seven RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base in the three games. Four of her six hits in the series went for extra bases, as she had a double in all three games, plus a home run in the finale.

She had a whopping 1.500 slugging percentage while hitting .750 during the week and also played error-free in the field, successfully handling 17 defensive chances. Davidson is hitting .404 this season with a .587 slugging percentage.

With her two shutout wins over Newman, Coats – who took the NCCAA pitching honor for the second straight week and the third time this spring – extended three remarkable streaks. She has recorded four consecutive shutouts, 27 straight scoreless innings and 16 straight wins (after a 2-2 start). She allowed only two Newman batters to reach third base in 12 innings, striking out 16 while walking four.

In her last four starts – all complete games – Coats has surrendered only eight hits. Newman batters hit just .103 against her last week as she lowered her ERA to 1.65. She has thrown 14 complete games this season.

On Monday, Davidson and Coats were honored as the Heartland Conference’s hitter and pitcher of the week, respectively, making OC the first team this season to sweep those awards during the same week.

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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:15:00 CDT add267a4-5a4d-4a79-9a80-f1af87ed8a5d
Freshmen Coats, Davidson give Lady Eagles sweep of Heartland softball honors OKLAHOMA CITY (April 21, 2014) – The future of Oklahoma Christian softball is doing great things in the present, as evidenced Monday when the Heartland Conference’s weekly honors were announced.

Pitcher Shea Coats and catcher Niki Davidson were named as the NCAA Division II conference’s pitcher and hitter of the week, respectively, after starring in OC’s three-game sweep of league rival Newman (Kan.).

OC (32-14) became the first team this season to sweep the league’s weekly honors, which have been given out 12 times in 2014. Coats and Davidson both received their respective awards for the second time this season – Coats for the second time in as many weeks. Only one other Heartland pitcher has received the pitching award more than once this season.

Last week, the Lady Eagles beat Newman 3-0 and 10-5 on Thursday and 8-0 on Friday, wins that clinched a third-place regular-season conference finish for OC. The Lady Eagles have won 19 of their past 22 games, making them the Heartland’s hottest team during that stretch.

Coats, a right-hander from Tuttle, extended three remarkable streaks while pitching two shutouts against Newman. She now has recorded four consecutive shutouts, 27 straight scoreless innings and 16 straight wins (after a 2-2 start). She allowed only two Newman batters to reach as far as third base in 12 innings against the Jets, striking out 16 while walking four.

In her last four starts – all complete games – Coats has surrendered only eight hits. Newman batters hit just .103 against her last week.

Davidson, a former Community Christian School standout from Oklahoma City, was OC's prime offensive catalyst in the series, going 6-for-8 with seven RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base in the three games. Four of her six hits in the series went for extra bases, as she had a double in all three games, plus a home run in the finale.

She had a whopping 1.500 slugging percentage while hitting .750 during the week and also played error-free in the field, successfully handling 17 defensive chances.

OC will host Texas A&M International on Friday and Saturday in the Lady Eagles’ final regular-season and conference games of the season.

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Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:15:00 CDT cd187acc-02bf-441f-b5ef-2a51d3510583
Bridge Creek’s Dawkins signs to play basketball for Lady Eagles BRIDGE CREEK, Okla. (April 21, 2014) – Hope Dawkins, who starred for Bridge Creek High School and made the Class 4A coaches’ All-State team as a senior, has signed a letter of intent to play women’s basketball at Oklahoma Christian, OC coach Stephanie Findley said Monday.

Dawkins, a 6-foot-2 center, averaged 13.1 points per game for the Bobcats. In addition to making the Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association Middle West All-State squad, she received honorable mention on The Oklahoman’s Class 4A All-State team.

Dawkins also has received honorable mention on The Oklahoman’s Little All-City squad each of the past three seasons.

“Hope is a versatile player who passes well, has a nice shot and has uncanny timing for blocking shots,” OC coach Stephanie Findley said. “One of the things I like most about her is her enthusiastic communication on the court.”

At Bridge Creek, she played for a former OC basketball and soccer player, Hope Heinen, who serves as the Bobcats’ assistant hoops coach.

OC is in the second year of the three-year NCAA Division II membership process and is a full member of the Heartland Conference. The Lady Eagles went 19-12 last season and finished fifth in the National Christian College Athletic Association Championship after winning their second straight NCCAA Central Region title.

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Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:45:00 CDT 2fa10242-32f8-4ef1-b6c8-006ee1af52fc
Eagles hold steady at No. 7 in South Central Region baseball poll DENVER (April 21, 2014) – Dropping a pair of games to a NCAA Division II national power didn’t hurt Oklahoma Christian in the latest South Central Region baseball rankings, which were released Monday.

OC (26-14) remained at No. 7 in the poll, which is compiled by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and consists of teams from the three leagues that make up the NCAA Division II region – the Heartland, Lone Star and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conferences.

The Eagles opened last week by winning 13-10 at NAIA No. 10-ranked Oklahoma City University, giving OC its first regular-season sweep of OCU in 40 years. OC led Division II No. 9-ranked Lubbock Christian (Texas) deep into the game in all three games in the series between the Heartland Conference foes, but lost the opener 6-1 and the finale 11-6. OC won the middle game of the series, 10-9.

Four Heartland teams are in the regional rankings, led by No. 2 Lubbock Christian. St. Edward’s (Texas) is No. 4 and St. Mary’s (Texas) is No. 6, followed by OC. Those four teams are in the same order in the conference standings.

The entire regional top 10 consists of Colorado Mesa, Lubbock Christian, West Texas A&M, St. Edward’s, Texas A&M-Kingsville, St. Mary’s, OC, New Mexico Highlands, Angelo State (Texas) and Tarleton State (Texas).

OC won’t play a nonconference game this week due to finals. The Eagles will return to action Friday, when they visit St. Mary’s. With a 14-10 league record, OC trails the Rattlers by two games in the conference standings.

The Eagles also have had changes to their schedule for next week. Southeastern Oklahoma State backed out of a scheduled doubleheader at OC on April 29, so OC now has moved its home game against Central Oklahoma from April 28 to April 29. The nine-inning game will start at 6:30 p.m. at Dobson Field.

After the UCO game, OC will visit Oklahoma Panhandle State for its final Heartland Conference series on May 2-3, then host the National Christian College Athletic Association Central Region tournament from May 6-9.

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Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:30:00 CDT 7811d9c7-6129-4251-8fe3-c18aa5955737
Hamilton, Talley named as Ms. Eagle, Mr. Eagle for 2013-14 academic year OKLAHOMA CITY (April 20, 2014) – A two-sport standout and an All-America basketball player are the recipients of the top award in Oklahoma Christian athletics for the 2013-14 academic year, OC Athletic Director Curtis Janz said Sunday.

Roz Hamilton was named Ms. Eagle and Kendre Talley was named Mr. Eagle during the annual All-Sports Spring Banquet on Sunday on the OC campus. The awards are presented to the female and male student-athletes who best combine success in their sport(s) with representing the ideals of OC.

Hamilton, a senior from Idabel, starred in both basketball and track and field for the Lady Eagles. In basketball, she earned second-team All-America honors from the National Christian College Athletic Association, averaging 10.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. This past season, she led the Lady Eagles to a 19-12 record and their second straight appearance in the NCCAA Championship, in which they finished fifth.

Hamilton also was an All-Heartland Conference second-team selection and was named as the NCCAA student-athlete of the week for basketball in early March. She finished her career with 1,134 points, 23rd on OC’s all-time scoring list.

In track and field, Hamilton broke a 27-year-old OC record – the university’s oldest in women’s track – earlier this month when she scored 4,561 points in the heptathlon in a meet in Arkansas City, Kan.

She has excelled consistently not only in multi-event competitions, but also in individual events and in relays and has qualified in numerous events for the NCCAA Outdoor Championships. In 2012, Hamilton was a part of another school record in the outdoor 4x200-meter relay and she twice has earned NCCAA student-athlete of the week honors in track.

Hamilton also has earned NCCAA Scholar-Athlete honors in basketball and track.

“She’s a multi-talented, multi-faceted, versatile, bright, bubbly personality,” OC women’s basketball coach Stephanie Findley said. “She’s so involved on campus, because she relates to anybody and everybody. She’s involved in a lot of things outside of basketball and track that make her a very popular person.

“She’s just a great personality to be around. I just love her to death. I’m going to miss her – a lot. She’s a good example to all your incoming kids. She works hard, plays hard, never stops, never quits and never has a bad attitude. She’s just great.”

Talley, a senior from Spencer, also was a basketball standout for OC. He earned NCCAA All-America second-team honors and was named to the All-Heartland Conference first-team list this past season, becoming the first player ever to lead the NCAA Division II conference in three separate major statistical categories – scoring (17.5 points per game), assists (5.9 per game) and steals (2.0 per game).

Talley, the most valuable player in the 2012 Sooner Athletic Conference tournament, scored 1,333 points and ranks tied for No. 24 on OC’s career list. He played key roles as OC won an improbable SAC tournament title in 2012 and reached the NCCAA national title game in 2013. OC went 10-17 this past season.

“He’s what an Oklahoma Christian athlete should be,” OC men’s basketball coach Dan Hays said. “We take it for granted what a good player he is. Statistically, to do what he did in the Heartland Conference, that was great, but what was really good was, when we had a tough year, he showed great leadership.

“He kept our team together, kept us working toward a common goal. That’s what’s hard to do, when you’re playing your senior year and your (team) is not having a good season. That speaks to his character.”

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Sun, 20 Apr 2014 21:30:00 CDT c805c612-5a19-4b24-a1f9-85569dffb70e
Lubbock Christian’s 5 longballs lift Chaparrals past Oklahoma Christian, 11-6 OKLAHOMA CITY (April 19, 2014) – The scouting report on Lubbock Christian (Texas) was that the Chaparrals liked to sit back and wait on the home run to score. Unfortunately for Oklahoma Christian, they did just that in bunches on Saturday afternoon at Dobson Field.

With the wind blowing out to left field, No. 9-ranked LCU hit five homers – accounting for all but one of the Chaparrals’ runs – and rallied from an early five-run deficit to beat the Eagles 11-6 in the decisive game of the three-game Heartland Conference series.

LCU (32-10, 23-4 Heartland) moved within a win of clinching the best regular-season record in the Heartland, although the conference refuses to allow member schools that are in the NCAA Division II membership process, such as LCU and OC, from winning regular-season titles. OC (26-14, 14-10) is solidly in fourth place in the standings, two games ahead of fifth-place Newman (Kan.).

It was the third time this season the Chaparrals won on the road in the decisive game of a conference series, but they had to work for it, as they never took the lead until the eighth inning against a game OC squad looking to post a statement win.

“Last year, we thought we knew where the bar was set (in the conference) and I think this year there’s a new bar,” OC coach Lonny Cobble said. “What I think is, the better teams, you want to get to that level. They’re a great team. There’s no wonder they haven’t lost a series. They’ve swept a lot of series. We just need to make sure we know where that bar is and try to climb to that level.”

“Every time it seems like we’ve had a chance to make a statement in a series, against St. Edward’s or Lubbock, and try to take two, we just haven’t been able to get over that hump yet. But we’re going to figure out a way to get there.”

Five different LCU players – Joel Lutz, Brandon Wilson, Wigberto Nevarez, Brett Wilhelm and Tanner Rainey – hit a home run. The latter two, a three-run shot by Wilhelm and a two-run shot by Rainey (his first career homer) came in a five-run eighth inning that put LCU ahead 10-6.

“We knew those guys were going to hit and they were going to score a lot of runs,” Cobble said. “Unfortunately for us, we didn’t keep the ball down enough. … We learned a lesson. We’ve got to keep the ball down.”

Early on, it looked like the Eagles would run away from LCU. Cameron Keener and Cory Eastwood each had a RBI single in the first inning and Jordan Lopez’s two-run double keyed a three-run second off LCU starter Jack Mabe. Keener’s second run-scoring single of the day put OC ahead 5-0.

Lutz hit a three-run homer in the third after bunt singles by Rainey and Jesus Pintado, cutting OC’s lead to 5-3. Solo shots by Wilson and Nevarez in the fifth off OC starter Kacy Cook tied the game at 5-5.

A solo homer by Sean Murphy – his second of the season and second of the series – in the sixth put the Eagles back ahead 6-5. Ryan Nash pitched a perfect sixth inning for OC and Garrett Guys (2-2) did the same in the seventh, but Guys ran into trouble in the eighth. LCU put two men on with one out before Wilhelm put them ahead 8-6. Reliever Tyler Schuman later gave up Rainey’s homer that made it 10-6.

LCU added an insurance run in the ninth to make it 11-6. The Chaparrals’ late-inning hitting made a winner out of reliever Levi Westerlund (3-1), who didn’t allow a hit in three innings of work.

“We’re in that ball game and even have the lead in the seventh,” Cobble said. “… I feel good about the way we played. We battled with those guys. We just unfortunately came out on the short end of the stick twice.”

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Sat, 19 Apr 2014 16:45:00 CDT ec5cb0fd-1015-46ca-89b5-51586fce003d
Eagles rally from 5-run deficit to earn split with No. 9 Lubbock Christian OKLAHOMA CITY (April 18, 2014) – No. 9-ranked Lubbock Christian (Texas) was every bit as good as advertised and the Chaparrals came close to steamrolling Oklahoma Christian on Friday at Dobson Field.

The Chaparrals won the opening game of Heartland Conference doubleheader 6-1 and zoomed to an early five-run lead in the second game. But OC bounced back – thanks in good part to Caleb Price’s hitting and Eddie Broll’s relief pitching – and rallied for a 10-9 win.

LCU (31-10, 22-4) and OC (26-13, 14-9) will play the series’ decisive game on Saturday at 1 p.m. LCU entered the series leading the Heartland by two games in the loss column over second-place St. Edward’s (Texas), while OC was in fourth place, a game behind St. Mary’s (Texas) in the loss column.

LCU was 22-2 in its previous 24 games and had won eight straight before losing the second game of the doubleheader to the Eagles. LCU traditionally has dominated the series against OC, with a 53-14 all-time mark.

“It would definitely be exciting to take another one off these guys, but we definitely have our work cut out for us,” OC coach Lonny Cobble said. “They’re a really good ball club. They’re kind of like a pro team. Those guys just stand up and bang the ball around the yard. So for our guys to get a win against those guys, I think it goes a long way for our program.”

In the opener, OC – ranked No. 7 in the NCAA Division II South Central Region rankings (with LCU at No. 3) – took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, as Cory Eastwood singled and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by A.J. Florence. For a long time, it looked like OC starter Brandon Pierce (7-3) would make that lead stand up, as he struck out eight batters in six innings and mostly was dominant.

But Joel Lutz turned the game around with a two-run homer over the left-field wall with two outs in the sixth and Wigberto Nevarez followed with a solo shot to left field. Hunter McFall then doubled and scored on an error and all of a sudden the Chaparrals led 4-1. They added a pair of runs in the seventh.

LCU pitcher Brig Gerlich (9-0) went the distance and allowed only three hits.

The Chaparrals jumped on OC’s second-game starter, Luke Sandoval, for two runs in the third and took a 4-1 lead on a two-run homer by Nevarez in the fourth. Sean Murphy answered with a two-run homer – his first of the season – in the bottom of the fourth to pull OC within 4-3, but LCU added four more runs in the fifth, with Hunter McFall recording the big blow, a two-run double to left field. That made it 8-3.

OC again had an answer. Price, who went 4-for-5 with two RBIs, doubled home a run and scored during a three-run fifth off LCU starter Tim Carlson.

Both teams went to their bullpens after that, with decidedly different results. OC’s Zach Loomis (3-2) allowed two hits in 1 2/3 scoreless innings, then Broll faced the minimum six batters during his two-inning stint, buying time for OC to rally on offense.

“Eddie Broll has been coming out of the bullpen all year and getting the job done for us,” Cobble said.

The Eagles fared well against LCU reliever Jarret Porter (3-3), taking a 9-8 lead with a three-run sixth, with Jordan Lopez and Price each contributing an RBI single. OC added what proved to be an important insurance run in the seventh when A.J. Florence was hit by a pitch, went to third base on a single by Lopez and scored when the throw from LCU right fielder Stephen Withrow hit the bag and caromed away.

“Price has been steady for us all year,” Cobble said. “He’s a senior. He stepped up and made a good (defensive) play in the outfield and drove in some runs in crucial situations for us. I’m proud of the leadership we’re getting from our seniors.”

The Chaparrals rallied briefly against OC closer Dillon Endecott, as Brandon Wilson reached on a leadoff infield single and Joel Lutz did the same on a bad-hop single to left field. An error on the latter play allowed Wilson to score to make it 10-9, but Endecott retired the next three batters, with Price making a sliding catch in right field to end the game.

Endecott recorded his eighth save, one off the single-season OC record set last season by Chris Burgess.

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Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:30:00 CDT 5e426bcf-ecd8-45db-8fc7-449c4c26284d
Oklahoma Christian quartet takes 2nd in 4x1600-meter race at Kansas Relays LAWRENCE, Kan. (April 18, 2014) –Four Oklahoma Christian distance runners waited almost all day to run in one event on Friday night at the Kansas Relays, but they made it worth their time.

The OC quartet of Brennym Kaelin, Bryant Keirns, Roberto Diaz and Brayden Barrientez took second place in the 4x1600-meter relay, a rarely run collegiate event.

The Eagles finished the race at Rock Chalk Park in a time of 17:51.93, trailing only Augustana (S.D.) in the seven-team field. OC beat one NCAA Division I squad, Oral Roberts, and a pair of Division II foes in Fort Hays State (Kan.) and Emporia State (Kan.).

Kaelin opened with a split of 4:27.80, then Keirns followed with one of 4:25.63. Diaz had a 4:28.47 on the third leg, while Barrientez’s anchor-leg split was 4:30.04.

After a busy stretch during the past 10 days, OC’s track and field teams will be off until April 26, when they’ll compete in the Southwestern Relays in Winfield, Kan. That will be their final prep meet for the National Christian College Athletic Association Outdoor Championships, set for May 1-3 in Rome, Ga.

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Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:30:00 CDT 9c8cc6e6-9ba4-42ef-9f03-b06e5e1f8bda
It’s Freshman Day for OC, as Coats, Davidson shine in win over Newman OKLAHOMA CITY (April 18, 2014) – Mid-April is the time most softball teams begin thinking about Senior Day. But before Oklahoma Christian does that next week, the Lady Eagles had a Freshman Day of sorts on Friday afternoon.

Pitcher Shea Coats and catcher Niki Davidson – both in their first collegiate season – led the Lady Eagles to an 8-0 win over Newman (Kan.) in five innings at Tom Heath Field, completing a three-game sweep of the Heartland Conference series between the teams.

Coats threw her fourth straight shutout, a two-hitter, and extended her streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 27, while Davidson went 3-for-3 with a home run, a double, two runs scored and four RBIs. OC (32-14, 14-6 Heartland) sealed at least a third-place regular-season conference finish with the win, which coach Tom Heath said was a goal at the start of the season.

OC has won 19 of its last 22 games, a run that includes road wins over the defending NCAA Division II champion, Central Oklahoma, and then-No. 3-ranked St. Mary’s (Texas).
“We are playing well right now,” Heath said. “Everybody understands their role at this time and everybody is filling their role. We’ve got great support from everybody on the team, helping each other out. It’s a true team effort and we’re going to keep on that roll as long as we can.”

Newman (15-27, 6-15) threatened but once against Coats, taking advantage of two early walks to put runners on second and third base with two outs in the first inning, but Coats recovered to strike out Jensen Cromer looking to end the inning.

Coats (18-2) allowed only a third-inning double to Mikayla Medbery and a fourth-inning single to Missy Swanson, but neither runner advanced. One day after striking out nine Jets, Coats recorded seven Ks.

“Shea is a special pitcher,” Heath said. “She is a very talented pitcher, very competitive player. She is having a great freshman year.”

Davidson’s home run, her third of the season, broke a scoreless tie with one out in the second. She also played a key role in a two-run fourth inning, as Martha Thomas, Courtney Starr and Davidson smashed consecutive doubles off Newman starter Kelsey Jones (6-8) to open the inning.

The Lady Eagles sent 10 batters to the plate in the fifth and finished the game off with a five-run outburst. Davidson had the big blow, a two-run, bases-loaded single. Monique Elliott followed with a run-scoring single to make it 7-0, and Kala Ratliff reached on a two-out error, allowing Elliott to scoot across the plate with the winning run.

“Niki has tremendous power,” Heath said. “She’s developed that competitive offensive power. It took her a while to get used to college ball, but right now, she is awesome – hitting the long ball, hitting line drives off the fence, knocking in runs. She had a monster game today and she’s doing a great job behind the plate as well.”

OC will finish conference play next Friday and Saturday, hosting Texas A&M International, which entered the weekend in fifth place in the Heartland standings. OC could still finish tied for second in league play with a sweep, if second-place Lubbock Christian (Texas) drops two of three games at Oklahoma Panhandle State.

The series sweep of Newman also improved OC’s home record in its first season at Tom Heath Field to an impressive 19-4. OC won’t play another game away from home until the National Christian College Athletic Association Championship, should the Lady Eagles qualify for that event.

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Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:30:00 CDT cfa43cfa-7ce2-45ad-ade6-1c3519b2e0a9
Keirns, Diaz shine in 5,000, Wallace 3rd in decathlon at Kansas Relays LAWRENCE, Kan. (April 17, 2014) – Bryant Keirns and Roberto Diaz ran strong in the 5,000 meters and Austin Wallace finished third in the decathlon as Oklahoma Christian performers made an appearance on Thursday at the prestigious Kansas Relays.

Keirns and Diaz both established themselves as threats to earn All-America status at the upcoming National Christian College Athletic Association Outdoor Track and Field Championships, running two of the top three 5,000-meter times this season in the NCCAA.

Keirns, a sophomore from Wichita, Kan., was sixth in the 22-man field with a time of 14:46.10, while Diaz, a junior from Austin, Texas, was eight in 14:48.75. Both were season-best marks.

Wallace overcame less-than-ideal conditions, including cool temperatures and wind, to finish the 10-event decathlon with 6,083 points, the second-best total of his career. On Wednesday, during the decathlon’s first day, the sophomore from Edmond won both the 100 meters (10.88 seconds) and the 400 meters (52.99 seconds).

His 6,280-point outing last week in the Cowley Tiger Decathlon in Arkansas City, Kan., remains the best decathlon score in the NCCAA so far this spring.

Two other Eagles also competed Thursday. Senior thrower Larry Brown qualified for the finals in the hammer and finished ninth in the 20-man field with a top mark of 54.59 meters. Brown already had qualified for the NCCAA Championships in the event.

OC freshman Kyle Broaddrick ran in the 1,500 meters and finished in 4:12.48.

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Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:45:00 CDT 73244284-5031-4702-90de-d5006e3a176a
Hamilton takes 3rd in heptathlon at prestigious Kansas Relays LAWRENCE, Kan. (April 17, 2014) – Oklahoma Christian’s Roz Hamilton didn’t improve on her freshly minted school record in the heptathlon, but considering the circumstances, she fared well anyway.

The senior from Idabel battled cool, windy conditions on Thursday while competing at one of collegiate track and field’s most prestigious meets. She finished the two-day event with a score of 4,417 points – the second-highest of her career – to finish third in a six-woman field.

Hamilton’s performance came a week after she snapped a 27-year-old school record by scoring 4,561 points in the Cowley Tiger Heptathlon in Arkansas City, Kan.

During the Kansas Relays heptathlon, Hamilton won one event, taking top honors in the shot put with a throw of 11.71 meters. In the overall final standings, she beat three competitors from NCAA Division I programs.

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Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:30:00 CDT 5ab868b9-75b9-4e69-8e0f-9973cd03a84c
Coats throws another shutout, Thomas, Pittman homer in sweep of Newman OKLAHOMA CITY (April 17, 2014) – Shea Coats and Martha Thomas continued their respective dominance on Thursday night, a combination that makes Oklahoma Christian tough to beat.

Coats threw her third straight shutout – a two-hitter – to lead OC past Newman (Kan.) 3-0 in the first game of a softball doubleheader at Tom Heath Field, then Thomas and Lauren Pittman homered in the second game as the Lady Eagles won 10-5.

OC (31-14, 13-6 Heartland Conference) will try to finish a sweep of the three-game series against Newman (15-26, 6-14) on Friday at noon. A win would clinch at least a third-place conference regular-season finish for OC in its second season in the NCAA Division II league.

“I’m very proud of our team,” OC coach Tom Heath said. “Those were two good wins for us tonight.”

Coats, the reigning Heartland pitcher of the week after blanking Cameron and then-No. 3-ranked St. Mary’s (Texas) last week, allowed only an infield single by Lacey Cowan in the third inning and a double by Megan McNeill in the sixth. Coats (17-2) has allowed only six hits in her last three starts, all complete games.

She escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the third inning, striking out Kelsey Jones and retiring Missy Swanson on a fly ball to left field. That started a run during which Coats retired 14 of the final 15 batters for the Jets.

“Shea has been throwing the ball very well for the last two or three outings,” Heath said. “I think Shea is more relaxed now. She understands what needs to be done, how to pitch instead of just throwing the ball. Shea has done a great job. That team has beaten some pretty good teams.”

A run-scoring single by Lauren Chatigny and a sacrifice fly by Kendra Pierce off Jones (6-7) in the second inning proved to be all the offense the Lady Eagles needed. Sarah Endres and Chatigny both tripled in the fourth, leading to another run to make it 3-0. Chatigny finished 3-for-3 with a walk.

In the second game, the Lady Eagles scored three runs off Newman starter Jensen Cromer (8-16) on just one hit – a single by Monique Elliott – taking advantage of three walks, a fielding error, two passed balls and a wild pitch.

Thomas opened the fourth inning with an opposite-field, into-the-wind blast that carried over the left-center field wall for her ninth home run of the season. Courtney Starr followed with a single and eventually scored on an infield single by Elliott to make it 5-0.

Newman cut the lead to 5-2 in the fourth, as the Jets had three hits off OC starter Taylor Mosher (9-6). The Lady Eagles got those runs back in the fifth, though. Danielle Collins led off with a triple down the right-field line and Niki Davidson followed with a run-scoring single. With two outs, Pittman hit a solo home run to right-center field to make it 7-2.

Sarah Balderas tripled and scored for the Jets in the sixth and the Jets had two runners on with two outs, but Krystal Rodriguez relieved Mosher and recorded the final out. Thomas and Davidson both doubled as OC scored three runs in the bottom of the inning, with Davidson’s shot bringing home two runs and making it 10-3.

“Moose (Thomas) is strong enough to take it out opposite field, into the wind,” Heath said. “I was glad to see (Pittman) hit one out. She hit the ball hard all day, just right at people. I keep telling them, ‘Keep swinging the bat like you have been. Don’t change anything,’ and she got a hold of one.”

Swanson hit a two-run double in the seventh for Newman to account for the final margin, but Rodriguez finished the game to record her second save of the season.

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Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:30:00 CDT ff77eb5d-b2ea-40b9-bfac-818000153929
Jones, Kruzich run season-bests in 200 to pace OC at Tabor Invitational HILLSBORO, Kan. (April 16, 2014) – Joshua Jones and Austin Kruzich both ran season-best times in the 200 meters, leading Oklahoma Christian on Wednesday at the Tabor Invitational.

Jones, a freshman from Escondido, Calif., finished 10th among 31 runners in the 200 with a time of 22.69 seconds, with Kruzich, a freshman from Allen, Texas, 11th in 22.72 seconds. A third OC runner, Dallas junior Jamal George, was one spot behind Kruzich, taking 12th in 22.86 seconds.

All three recorded qualifying times for the National Christian College Athletic Association Outdoor Track and Field Championships. George and Kruzich did the same in the 100 meters, with George 11th among 28 runners with a time of 11.20 seconds and Kruzich 13th in 11.29 seconds.

Two other OC competitors also posted national-qualifying times or marks. In the 400-meter hurdles, Winston Ogletree was fifth among 21 runners with a time of 56.91 seconds.

Freshman Keegan Palmer recorded a mark of 41 feet, 5¾ inches (12.64 meters) in the triple jump and was 11th of 16 jumpers.

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Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:45:00 CDT 93e6765b-fbab-48ca-8847-7b2c6f76f88c
Brown (discus), K. Ostlund (javelin) post event wins for OC at Tabor Invitational HILLSBORO, Kan. (April 16, 2014) – Makenzie Brown won the discus and Katie Ostlund resumed her domination in the javelin, leading Oklahoma Christian on Wednesday in the Tabor Invitational.

Brown uncorked a season-best throw of 144 feet, 1 inch (43.92 meters) to finish atop the 23-woman competition in the discus. The junior from Savanna ranks fourth in the National Christian College Athletic Association and already has qualified for the NCCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

So has Ostlund, who struggled somewhat in her last meet in the javelin, an event in which she’s the defending NCCAA champion. But throwing just down the road from her hometown of Mount Hope, Kan., Ostlund was back to form with a throw of 129 feet (39.32 meters) to win in a field of 31 throwers.

Her sister, Miranda Ostlund, was 12th in the javelin with a throw of 115 feet, 9 inches (35.29 meters). Both have qualified for nationals in the event.

Miranda Ostlund also took fourth among 25 women in the hammer, posting a top mark of 137 feet, 1 inch (41.79 meters). She has qualified for the NCCAA meet in that event, too. Katie Ostlund was ninth in the hammer with a throw of 115 feet, 9 inches (35.29 meters), just short of the NCCAA qualifying standard.

OC’s sprinters also had a successful meet, with three posting NCCAA qualifying times. Wilmina Gley was 18th among 28 runners in the 100 meters in 13.20 seconds, while in the 200, Andrea Dennis (26.36 seconds) and Somer Helms (26.78 seconds) finished 11th and 15th, respectively, among the 32 runners.

In the 400-meter hurdles, Kara Drewke had a NCCAA qualifying time of 1:10.74, putting her ninth in the 17-woman race.

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Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:30:00 CDT 189c2b6e-c6f6-489a-b0ec-5a7c35f67efe
Eagles finish 42nd in balloting for Division II men’s golf coaches’ poll NEW YORK (April 16, 2014) – Oklahoma Christian still is on the radar screen of voters in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division II College Coaches’ Poll, but not enough to crack the top 25.

OC finished 42nd in the balloting for the current poll, which was released Wednesday, one spot lower than in the last poll, released three weeks ago. The Eagles received 13 points, three fewer than in the March poll.

OC, which ended its spring season last week, spent most of the fall season in the top 25, rising as high as No. 18, before dropping out in the final fall poll, released in early December. The Eagles have been in the “others receiving votes” category ever since.

The Eagles’ best team finish this spring was a second-place showing in the Dr. Troy Bledsoe Skyhawk Shootout at The Classic Club in Palm Desert, Calif.

Only one Heartland Conference team cracked the top 25 – St. Edward’s (Texas), at No. 17. Besides OC and St. Edward’s, only one other Heartland team, Dallas Baptist (Texas), received votes, finishing with 11 points.

Barry (Fla.) was ranked No. 1, followed by South Carolina-Aiken, Lynn (Fla.), California State-Monterey Bay, Chico State (Calif.), Nova Southeastern (Fla.), Armstrong Atlantic State (Ga.), Western New Mexico, Central Missouri and West Florida.

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Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:00:00 CDT f80c02a8-9bbc-44c3-a001-66e62117eb91
Eagles complete season sweep of OCU for first time since 1974 with 13-10 win OKLAHOMA CITY (April 15, 2014) – It took a marathon baseball game to end decades of frustration for Oklahoma Christian against Oklahoma City University.

OC prevailed against OCU 13-10 on Tuesday night in a nonconference matchup at Jim Wade Stadium in a game that lasted four hours and 12 minutes, which really wasn’t that long when you consider this number – 40 years.

OC’s baseball records are spotty, but it’s thought the Eagles – who also beat the Stars 14-3 last Tuesday – hadn’t swept OCU in a season series since 1974, when a Max Dobson-coached squad did so back when OCU was a member of NCAA Division I. After OCU joined the NAIA with the 1986 season, the Stars and Eagles have played annually each season OC has fielded a team, usually as conference rivals.

“It’s exciting,” OC coach Lonny Cobble said. “When you play a team like OCU, they’re a measuring stick for everybody. It’s nice to come in and get two wins against these guys. … We’ve got just as good a team coming in this weekend. Lubbock (Christian) is leading the conference. It would be nice to take a couple from those guys and finish up these last two or three weeks up on a positive note.”

There were a lot of eye-popping numbers on Monday. OC (25-12) and NAIA No. 12-ranked OCU (28-13) combined to use 14 pitchers – seven for each side. OC’s hurlers threw 203 pitches, which OCU’s threw 202. Both teams left 13 men on base. There were nine stolen bases – six by the Eagles, three by OCU – as well as 27 hits, seven errors and six wild pitches.

Both teams rallied from four-run deficits to tie the game. Fortunately for OC, it was the Eagles who had the last offensive burst to regain the lead after OCU had pulled even at 10-10 in the seventh inning.

“It was a long game,” Cobble said. “They kind of jumped on us early. I was really proud of the guys for not panicking and battling back. Then they tie it up and we have to go score again. It was two good teams that both, I thought, hit the ball really well tonight. Luckily, they made a few more errors than we did and we had a couple of big hits late to win this thing.”

Facing OCU pitcher Roby Romero (1-1) in the eighth inning, Caleb Price walked with one out and stole second base. Zac Cobble singled to left field, scoring Price, and went to second base after the Stars botched a rundown play. A.J. Florence followed with a single to left field, scoring Cobble to make it 12-10.

Eddie Broll pitched a perfect bottom of the eighth for OC, then the Eagles added an insurance run in the ninth when Caden Cleveland walked and eventually scored on a single by Garrett Stephenson.

OC closer Dillon Endecott ran into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the ninth, as the Stars’ first two batters reached base, but he retired OCU’s next three batters. He coaxed a foul popup from Connor Lynch – who already had homered twice – then struck out Forrest Smith and Jared Baker to end the game and record his seventh save of the season, just two shy of the school record set last season by Chris Burgess.

Dylon Sturges (3-2) threw the seventh inning and picked up the pitching win for OC.

OCU jumped to a 4-0 lead after two innings and was up 6-4 thru five before the Eagles used a six-run sixth to take a 10-6 advantage. The Stars answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth and two more in the seventh to tie the game. Lynch and Kyle Lacy had three hits each for the Stars.

Four Eagles – Florence, Markus Carr, Blake Stringer and Stephenson – had two hits each, while Stephenson had a season-high three RBIs. Stephenson, a senior playing out of position at second base, also made a nifty defensive play to end the seventh inning, snagging a bouncer by Austin Murphy and throwing him out by a step, which prevented the Stars from taking the lead and preserved the 10-10 tie.

Stephenson “did a really good job,” Lonny Cobble said. “He’s been one of those players for us who has been a role player all year for us and with some injuries has been starting a lot lately. The guy is just picking up the slack. He’s a ballgamer. I’m just really proud of the way he’s stepped up, being a senior and taking that leadership role. When he gets his opportunity, the guy performs.”

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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 23:45:00 CDT f029fd68-5274-46f6-b9b3-536d6b93a961
Freshman Coats adds NCCAA weekly honor to Heartland Conference award OKLAHOMA CITY (April 15, 2014) – Throw a one-hit shutout against one of the nation’s elite NCAA Division II teams and you’ll get noticed. That’s certainly been the case for Oklahoma Christian pitcher Shea Coats.

A day after being named as the Heartland Conference’s pitcher of the week for the first time, Coats was honored Tuesday for the second time as the National Christian College Athletic Association softball pitching student-athlete of the week.

The freshman from Tuttle was honored after throwing back-to-back shutouts in a 9-0 win over Cameron on Tuesday and a 3-0 win at Division II No. 3-ranked St. Mary’s (Texas) on Sunday. In the latter game, she limited the Rattlers to just one hit and never allowed a runner past second base, helping OC become the first Heartland team to beat St. Mary’s this season.

During the week, Coats (16-2) allowed four hits and seven walks and had 12 strikeouts. She has thrown 12 complete games this season and has six shutouts, five saves and a 1.81 ERA.

Coats received the NCCAA pitching honor for the first time in early March after leading the Lady Eagles to a series win at conference rival Texas-Permian Basin. One of her teammates, third baseman Kala Ratliff, also received the NCCAA softball weekly hitting honor earlier this season.

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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:15:00 CDT 5051d4f4-890d-489a-8560-1e81b1c6d9e0
Two-sport standout Hamilton adds NCCAA track honor to basketball award OKLAHOMA CITY (April 15, 2014) – Perhaps the greatest testament to Roz Hamilton’s athleticism is this: In the span of only four weeks, she has received two national student-athlete of the week honors in as many sports.

On Tuesday, the National Christian College Athletic Association named Hamilton as its women’s track and field weekly honoree, recognizing her for breaking a 27-year-old Oklahoma Christian school record during the Cowley Tiger Heptathlon in Arkansas City, Kan.

Hamilton, a senior from Idabel, scored 4,561 points to eclipse the former school heptathlon mark set by Julie Haynes in 1987, OC’s first year of women’s track and field. Hamilton won two of the heptathlon’s seven events, taking top honors in the shot put and 800 meters, while finishing third among 15 competitors.

During the heptathlon, she qualified for the NCCAA Outdoor Championships in the 200 meters, 100-meter hurdles, high jump (in which she's ranked fifth nationally) and long jump. She currently ranks second in the NCCAA in the heptathlon.

Back on March 18, Hamilton was named as the NCCAA’s women’s basketball student-athlete of the week after she earned most valuable player honors while leading the Lady Eagles to the NCCAA Central Region tournament title. Hamilton eventually was named to the NCCAA All-America second-team list and helped OC to a fifth-place finish at the national tournament.

Hamilton became the third OC women’s track student-athlete to take the weekly NCCAA honor this academic year, as freshman thrower Miranda Ostlund and junior sprinter Maegan Cowan each received the award once during the indoor season.

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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:00:00 CDT 6c507749-1376-42ce-b8e8-76cdb10368b6
Cleveland honored for 2nd straight week, this time by the NCCAA OKLAHOMA CITY (April 15, 2014) – Caden Cleveland’s recent hitting tear has landed him another weekly honor, this time of the national variety.

The National Christian College Athletic Association on Tuesday named the Oklahoma Christian catcher as its national baseball student-athlete of the week, honoring him for his performance as the Eagles swept four games last week.

Cleveland, a junior from Oklahoma City, was coming off a week in which he’d been named as the Heartland Conference hitter of the week. His sizzling hitting continued as the Eagles rolled past longtime NAIA power Oklahoma City University 14-3, then swept a three-game series from Ecclesia (Ark.) in a rematch of last year's NCCAA Central Region title game.

His three-run homer was a key blow in the win over OCU and he had a pair of doubles in an 18-6 win over Ecclesia in the series opener. Cleveland hit .750 on the week (6-for-8) with a 1.500 slugging percentage, thanks to three doubles as well as the homer against OCU.

In 11 plate appearances, he reached base nine times – an .818 on-base percentage – and he scored twice in each of the three games in which he played. His current hot stretch has improved his season batting average to .397, the second-best in the NCAA Division II Heartland Conference.

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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:30:00 CDT 4c960f76-8929-440f-8d72-2c0c9e2cf1ca
Strong finish to spring season results in NCCAA honor for OC’s Payne OKLAHOMA CITY (April 15, 2014) – For much of the 2013-14 campaign, Trey Payne played in the No. 4 or No. 5 positions on Oklahoma Christian’s men’s golf team, but he led the Eagles in their final tournament of the spring and earned national recognition as a result.

After tying for third in the Dallas Baptist Classic last week – the best individual performance of his career – Payne was named Tuesday as the National Christian College Athletic Association student-athlete of the week.

Payne, a junior from Ardmore, shot rounds of 71, 71 and 72 on the par-71, 6,859-yard course at The Golf Club of Dallas. He helped the Eagles to a sixth-place finish in the 15-team tournament.

Payne’s performance in Dallas came on the heels of a fourth-place individual showing a week earlier in the Dr. Troy Bledsoe Skyhawk Shootout at The Classic Club in Palm Desert, Calif. That was his first career top-10 finish.

The NCCAA weekly honor was the first for Payne, who became the fourth OC golfer to take the award during the 2013-14 academic year. Senior Alasdair Dalgliesh won it twice, while senior Johnny Ellis and sophomore Sam Johnston won it once each. An OC player took the NCCAA weekly award after five of the Eagles’ nine tournaments.

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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:15:00 CDT 00aa2c1b-5173-48cc-ab75-7f5d2ae9e314