Entering the doubleheader against No. 24 Ottawa University on April 18, the Tabor College softball team had a three-game lead in the KCAC standings and a 13-game winning streak.
The Bluejays won the first game, 3-2, but had its winning streak snapped in Game 2, 16-4. Tabor remains in first place in the conference with a two-game lead over Oklahoma Wesleyan and Friends with four games to play.
In the first-game victory, Ottawa jumped on top in the third inning by manufacturing a run on a hit batter, a bunt single, a groundout and a sacrifice fly.
Madison Byrd held Ottawa in check throughout the game, allowing two runs on four hits. Byrd struck out nine Braves but hit five batters which led to the final Ottawa run in the seventh.
In the fifth inning Madison Primrose reached on an error to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt and a popout, Dani Calder came through with the first of her two big hits in the game, scoring Primrose on a single to left field for a 1-1 tie.
Byrd led off the sixth inning with a home run to left to give the Bluejays the lead. It was her fourth homer of the season.
Ottawa mounted a brief threat in the bottom of the sixth when the lead-off batter reached on a controversial hit-by-pitch. But the runner was erased on a by Kerrigan Travens on a steal attempt.
Raegan Ternes hit a one-out single in the seventh to set up Dani Calder for a crucial insurance run opportunity. Calder stroked a double into the gap in deep right-center, scoring Ternes and giving the Bluejays a 3-1 lead.
The extra run proved critical as OU scored in the seventh on another questionable hit-by-pitch before Byrd stranded the bases loaded with a pop out to end the game.
While Game 1 was something of a pitcher’s dual, Game 2 was the complete opposite. Tabor started with a bang, scoring four runs in the first inning. Josie Mora knocked in two runs with a bases-loaded double and Raegan Ternes drove in Mora. The Bluejays took advantage of three Ottawa errors in the inning.
The Braves answered loudly with three runs in the bottom of the first to put an end to a second straight start for a tired Madison Byrd.
Ottawa then scored four runs in the second, five in the third and four in the fourth while shutting down the Bluejay bats to pull away and end the game in a run-rule victory.
Coming—Tabor (23-15, 15-3 in KCAC) was scheduled to travel to Bartlesville, Okla., Saturday for a doubleheader with second-place Oklahoma Wesleyan University in a matchup that could determine the KCAC regular-season champion. —Tabor College