Coach Patti Buchta has taken the Lady Oaks women's softball team to the National Tournament on six occasions, finishing second as NCCAA National Runner-Up in 1997 and fifth in 1998. Their last appearance was in 2016. Coach Buchta's players have received numerous national awards for academic excellence and athletic ability.
Pictured Front Row L-R: Grace Jerrell, Shay Harrington, Whitney Jeffers, Lauren Morton, Sam Endicott
Middle Row L-R: Allie Minton, Kayley Main, Alexis Lemon, Amanda Schmitt, Bre Huff, Cheyenne Reinig
Back Row L-R: Head Coach Patti Buchta, Bailey Gilbert, Kristen Barrell, Megan Klees, Corbin McCrary, Jaycee Parke, Assistant Coach Randy Chapell
May 14, 2016 - Mighty Oaks Softball Take NCCAA Mid-West Region Championship; Advances to National Tournament
Under the direction of head coach Patti Buchta, now in her 25th season at the helm, the Oakland City University Mighty Oaks softball team rode through an up and down season, finding their stride just in time for post season play. After an opening round victory in the NCCAA Mid-West Regional tournament, beating Grace College 8-6, OCU fell to Indiana Wesleyan University 5-2. Facing Grace again in for the Regional Championship, the Oaks proved up to the task, winning 7-3. The win gave OCU their sixth berth in the NCCAA National Championship Tournament, where they have finished as runner-up in both 1997 and 1998.
The Oaks will bring a record of 15-19 into tournament play, as OCU earned the eight seed in the championship field. Behind four-year starting short stop Jaycee Parke, who leads the team in batting average (.436), runs scored (36), hits (51), triples (2), total bases (73), slugging percentage (.624), and walks (15), three-year starting center fielder Cheyenne Reinig, with team bests in at bats (120), doubles (14), runs batted in (32), and sacrifices (7), as well as six other players who are hitting over .315 on the year, including Megan Klees (.343), Bailey Gilbert (.343), Corbin McCrary (.337), Kayley Main (.325), Lauren Morton (.320), and Bre Huff (.317), the Mighty Oaks have hit the ball well all season long, outscoring their opponents 189-188, despite the losing record.
The OCU pitching staff have shown combined for a 4.88 earned run average, with 91 strikeouts and 31 walks. Junior Whitney Jeffers has a team-best 3.61 ERA, with 87 1/3 innings pitched, allowing 45 earned runs, with 41 strikeouts and only nine walks. Classmate Amanda Schmitt carries a 4.71 ERA, in 81 2/3 innings of work, allowing 55 earned runs, with 33 strikeouts and 13 walks.
The OCU softball team traveled to Cedarville, Ohio, for the 2015 National Christian College Athletic Association Mid-West Regional Tournament, hosted by Cedarville University.
In game one, the Oaks faced the Lancers of Grace College, losing 8-0. Whitney Jeffers started the game for OCU, lasting just two innings, giving up four runs, all earned, on six hits. Amanda Schmitt pitched the final two innings, also allowing four earned runs, on four hits, with one strikeout. Laramy Parke picked up a double in the first inning and Bre Huff added a single in the third, as OCU managed just two hits in the game.
Game two saw OCU fall behind Cedarville University 2-0 after the third inning. The Oaks put two runs on the board in the top of the sixth, but Cedarville came back and scored two in the bottom of the frame. When OCU failed to score in the seventh, the final score became 4-2 in favor of the Yellow Jackets. Amanda Schmitt pitched a complete game, allowing four runs, two earned, on 12 hits and a walk. Megan Klees and Corbin McCrary each went 2-3 at the plate in the game. Kayley Main and Bailey Gilbert scored for the Oaks, while Corbin McCrary and Kristen Barrell each had an RBI.
The Oakland City University softball team, carrying a record of 7-3, moved into the National Christian College Athletic Association Division I Softball national rankings this week, coming in at number five. (NCCAA Top 10)
The top three spots were unchanged from last week, as Bethel College (6-0) remained in the top spot, while Olivet Nazarene University (15-1) and Shorter University (24-4) retained their positions. Hope International University (19-11) moved from ninth to fourth, followed by OCU (7-3). Simpson University (21-11) dropped from fourth to sixth, followed by Nyack College (4-3) at seventh, their first week in the rankings, and Campbellsville University (20-8), who dropped one spot to finish in eighth. Indiana Wesleyan University (12-5) fell from the fifth position into ninth, with Judson University (11-5) moving into the rankings at tenth.
The Lady Oaks will look to improve on their record on Friday, March 29, when they travel to Mayfield, Kentucky, to take on Mid-Continent University. Their double header is scheduled for a 12:00 start.
Pictured, Front Row L-R: Amanda Braunecker, Megan Pennington, Alayna Super, Aimee Farhar, Carissa Embry, Kiersten Harville. Back Row L-R: Kim Flint, Katie Harmon, Shelbie Leachman, Felicia Virdin, Emily Jones, Brittney Benefiel, Kerrie Thompson, Emily Sullivan, Paige Elpers, Veronica Clark, Patti Buchta.
OCU Women's Softball Team on Think Pink Day.
Graduating trio of Brittney Benefiel, Emily Jones (8) and Felicia Virdin (9).
Coach Buchta with Jada, the team's unofficial mascot.
Kerrie Thompson stealing second base, a regular occurrence this season.
Senior pitcher Emily Jones sending it home.
Shelbie Leachman makes a play in the outfield.
Sophomore Aimee Farhar takes a cut.
Kerrie Thompson fields a grounder.
Senior Emily Sullivan winds up to throw heat.
Freshman infielder Alayna Super.
Aimee Farhar framing a strike.
The Lady Oaks doubled their season total in the wins column today by sweeping a double header against the Lady Pioneers of Crowley's Ridge College, winning 3-2 in game one and 4-0 in the second contest.
Emily Jones pitched a complete game in the opening contest, giving up two earned runs on five hits while walking five batters and striking out three. Felicia Virdin hit a two run home run in the bottom of the first inning, while Emily Sullivan drove in the other run for the Oaks. Sullivan, Virdin and Jones scored for the victorious home team, while Sullivan and Shelbie Leachman each went 2-3 at the plate in the game.
In game two, Emily Sullivan pitched a seven inning shutout, giving up just three hits, walking five batters and striking out nine. After battling through five innings with no score, OCU broke out when Carissa Embry singled, followed by an RBI two out double by Sullivan. The sixth inning saw Aimee Farhar drive in Brittney Benefiel, who had reached on a walk. After Megan Pennington walked, Kerrie Thompson drove in both Farhar and Pennington with a triple. Sullivan sat down the Lady Pioneers in order in the seventh to round out the best day OCU has had this season.
Next up for the Lady Oaks is a double header against Brescia University on Friday, March 30. Game time is set for 3:30 PM CST.
The Lady Oaks continue to struggle as they deal with numerous injuries, losing two games to Kentucky Wesleyan College and dropping to 2-10 on the year.
Game one saw Emily Sullivan take the mound, while Felicia Virdin pitched in relief. The Oaks lost game one 13-2, while game two's result was 9-0 in favor of the visiting Panthers. Emily Jones started the second game.
Mayfield, KY - The Oakland City University Softball team held on to win the regional championship, beating Covenant 5-4 in thrilling fashion. The Lady Oaks held the lead the entire game after scoring one run, but leaving the bases loaded, in the first inning.
Katie Harmon pitched a complete game, giving up ten hits but allowing only four runs, all earned, while striking out two and walking three. Sarah Bonnet hit her first homerun of the season, leading off the fourth inning and Kelsey Davis added to her school record single season homerun tally, blasting her 13th of the season, a solo shot hit to deep left-center field during the fifth inning.
Covenant College ended their season with a record of 13-29 after losing their first 23 games of the year. Each of the starters for the Lady Oaks had a hit to help the Lady Oaks improve to 21-24 and advance to the National Christian College Athletic Association Division 1 Softball National Championship Tournament hosted by Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida, May 13-15.
Kelsey Davis, Kerrie Thompson, Kyndal Thompson, and Falon DeVore were each named to the All-Region Team, along with King College's Stephanie Mueller, Shauna Haga, Danielle Zimmerman and Emily Bennett, Mid-Continent University's Jackie Lloyd, Kelly Fougerousse and Victoria Spindor, Ohio Christian University's Courtney Schilling and Covenant College's Christine Core, Kim Cuticchia and Chelsea Krafft.
The Lady Oaks took their opening regional game against Mid-Continent University by the score of 3-2 on May 4, advancing to play in the regional semifinal game today, May 5, against Covenant College at 10:00 am. If the Lady Oaks can win their 10:00 game, they will play for the regional championship at 2:00. If they lose the first game, they will play at 12:00 to try to steal the last spot in the finals, where they would have to win twice to win the double-elimination tournament and advance to the NCCAA D-I National Tournament, held at Palm Beach Atlantic University.