OKLAHOMA CITY - No. 3 Oklahoma City University topped fifth-ranked Lubbock Christian (Texas) 6-2 and picked up its 16th Sooner Athletic Conference title Saturday at Hall of Fame Stadium.
The Stars, ranked third in NAIA softball, fell 13-7 in game No. 1 but responded with a 6-2 victory in the second game. With the win OCU earned an automatic bid to the NAIA Championships on May 17-23 in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Lubbock Christian jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after back-to-back home runs by Sarah Mendez and Andrea Argee in the bottom of the first inning.
The Stars countered in the top of the second when Katie Proffitt singled up the middle and drove in Angela Lovelady and Jamie Rateliff to make the score 3-2.
Lubbock Christian scored a run in the bottom of the second and again in the third before plating eight in the bottom of the fourth to take a 13-2 lead.
Kylee Rounsaville, Magean De La Torre, Rateliff and Lovelady all drove in runs in the top of the fifth to cut the Lubbock Christian lead to 13-6.
OCU added another run in the top of the seventh on a Rateliff sacrifice fly to center but failed to close the gap and fell 13-6.
Lily LaVelle allowed five runs on eight hits in three innings and was saddled with the loss to move to 36-3 on the season. Danielle Fox and A.J. Woodward each made relief appearances.
Proffitt went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead OCU at the plate.
The Stars got on the scoreboard first in game No. 2 when Tori Joyner singled to left to drive in Lovelady and make the score 1-0 in the bottom of the third. LaVelle followed with a two-run homer off the left-field foul pole to push OCU's lead to 3-0.
Mendez hit a two run home run in the top of the fourth to put Lubbock Christian on the board and make the score 3-2.
Rounsaville led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer to left-center field to stretch the Stars' lead to 4-2.
RBI singles form LaVelle in the fifth and Lovelady in the sixth gave OCU a 6-2 lead. LaVelle retired the Lubbock Christian side in the top of the seventh to give OCU the win and conference tournament title.
Fox tossed four innings and allowed two runs on six hits to pick up the win and move to 4-0 on the season. LaVelle struck out five and didn't allow a hit in three inning of work out of the bullpen.
LaVelle went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a home run to lead the Stars at the dish.
The eight-time national champion Stars will advance to the NAIA Championships for the 26th time in program history. Pairings for the national tournament are still to be determined.