In the first games of the 2016 season, the East Central University softball team fell in a double-header to Central Oklahoma (3-10; 5-15) at Tiger Field.
The Tigers (0-2) were paced by freshman Caitlin Paolini, who hit .500 on three hits and recorded an RBI. Freshman Madison Thompson also hit .500, with two hits, two runs and four RBIs.
ECU had three pitchers in the circle in the double-header, with senior Marissa Shaffer and junior Kelbie Crelia combining in game one and senior Lacey Paulk throwing a complete game two. Shaffer threw 6.2 innings, with six hits allowed and three strike outs. Paulk allowed 15 runs and struck out five.
The Tigers will now hit the road for the next three weeks, starting at the St. Mary's NCAA DII College Classic, Feb. 4-6 in San Antonio, Texas.
Game 1 - UCO 10, ECU 3
The Tigers opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, without recording a hit. Taylor Davis earned a lead-off walk and advanced to third on an attempted sacrifice bunt by senior Autumn Suydam. Suydam reached due to an error to put runners on the corners.
Suydam then stole a base and the throw was errant, allowing Taylor Davis to score and put Suydam on third. Suydam then crossed the plate due to a wild pitch during junior Jordynn VanPelt's walk.
Sophomore Bre'Anna Davis advanced the runner with a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch put VanPelt on third. That allowed her to score when senior Lauren Reeves grounded out to short for a 3-0 lead.
The Bronchos (2-0) cut into the lead with a run in the top of the second and the teams then held each other scoreless for the next two innings.
UCO then took control of the game with an eight run fifth inning and added a run in the sixth for the 3-10 final.
Game 2 - UCO 15, ECU 5
The Bronchos were the first to score in the second game of the day, going up 0-2 after the top of the first.
ECU responded immediately and tied the game at the bottom of the inning. Taylor Davis and Suydam both singled and were sent to second and third when VanPelt grounded out. Thompson then earned the first RBI when she hit into a fielder's choice and Reeves sent the second home with a single to left.
UCO added two runs in the top of the second for a 2-4 advantage and this time it took an extra inning for the Tigers to tie the game at four, with a two-run third inning.
After the first out, VanPelt hit a single to left and was sent around a batter later when Thompson hit her first career home run to left center.
The Bronchos again took an advantage after one run in the fifth, but again ECU tied the game at five with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Taylor Davis singled to left and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Suydam. After the second out Thompson earned her final RBI of the day with a single to right.
UCO was the only team that got on the scoreboard after the fifth, scoring five runs in both the sixth and seventh innings for the 5-15 final.