Story by Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Athletic Communications & Media
Pictures courtesy of Paul Penders Photography, Click HERE to order
CLERMONT, Fla. – (Box Score) (Bracket) No. 2 seed Oklahoma City plated five runs in the final three innings, including one in the top of the eighth, to survive 8-7 against No. 5 Indiana Wesleyan in an elimination bracket game Monday at the 2018 NAIA Softball World Series at Legends Way Ball Fields. The game saw a combined 30 hits by the two clubs, which is the most amount since the World Series went to its current format in 2013. The 38th annual event is hosted by PFX Athletics for the second-straight year.
- Oklahoma City will play an elimination bracket contest Tuesday at 10 a.m. EDT against the loser of No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett / No. 4 Science & Arts (Okla.).
- With a 1-2 World Series record, the loss ends Indiana Wesleyan’s season at 58-12 overall.
Key Turning Point of the Game:
- Trailing 7-5 in the top of the seventh inning, Oklahoma City’s offense proved why it is one of the best in the NAIA.
- Brittany Perez, who led off with a double to right-center field, successfully executed a double-steal swiping home to cut the deficit to 7-6.
- Two batters later, a RBI infield single by Montana Price drove in Laci Joyner. Joyner reached on a single following Perez’s at-bat and stole second on the double-steal with Perez.
- Joyner’s run tied the score at 7-7 and sent the game into extra innings.
- Oklahoma City’s Jaci Smith went 3-for-5 at the dish and scored the game’s winning run. In the eighth inning with one out and one runner on base, she singled to center. One batter later, she scored on a wild throw.
- Smith ended her day with two runs scored and one RBI.
- She has now compiled five hits in her last 13 at-bats (.385).
- The 30 combined hits by the two teams and 16 by Oklahoma City are the highest output in a World Series game since the tournament went to its current double-elimination, 10-team format in 2013.
- Oklahoma City, ranked fourth in runs scored per game (7.6) and eighth in hits per game (9.9), scored eight runs-or-more for the 29th time this year.
- The teams combined for nine extra-base hits. Wildcat Rebecca Schrad had the game’s lone home run, going to deep left for a three-run bomb in the second inning.
- Indiana Wesleyan’s Kira Madl tied a season-high with four hits. She went 4-for-5 and was a home run shy of the cycle.
- Jaci Smith was joined by Julianne Abeloe, Bailey Whitmore and Baileigh Loux each with three hits for the Stars.
- Jaden Shores came on in relief and tosed 6.2 innings to earn the win in the circle. She allowed three runs on 10 hits. She struck out four and allowed three walks.
- All-time, Oklahoma City now holds a 126-46 record in its 31st World Series appearance. The wins, appearances and 10 national championship titles are all-time NAIA records.
- With a 1-2 mark in this year’s World Series, Indiana Wesleyan falls to 2-6 in three all-time trips.
- The team scoring first through nine games now is 6-3.
- The home team stands 3-6.
- The higher seeds now hold a 6-3 record thus far in the World Series.
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