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2014-05-24 Tigers make early, unexpected exit from NAIA World Series
2014-05-24 Tigers make early, unexpected exit from NAIA World Series

Tigers make early, unexpected exit from NAIA World Series

Author: Wendy Reid
Posted: Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 9:15 PM

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Not since May of 2012 had the Olivet Nazarene University softball team been held scoreless, 112 consecutive games. But the Tigers found themselves unable to push a run across the plate at the NAIA World Series…not once, but twice. The No. 3 seeded Tigers were on the losing end of a 2-0 opening game with No. 6 seeded William Carey University on Friday, May 23 and couldn’t snap back in game two the next day, falling 3-0 to College of Idaho.

Olivet (49-5-1) outhit the William Carey nine to six, leaving runners in scoring position three times. In the first, junior Jordy Truelock (Princeton, Ind.) reached on a single and advanced to third on a double by senior Hannah Gardner (Frankfort, Ill.), but both were stranded with back-to-back ground outs.

In the third, the Tigers loaded the bases with two outs on a single by Gardner, double off the bat of junior Erika Tatum (Bourbonnais, Ill.) and a walk by senior Cheryl Sendzik (Mokena, Ill.) but failed to score. The final missed scoring opportunity happened in the fourth when freshman Megan Semro doubled and reached third on a single by senior Justine Phillips (Metamora, Ill.).

Senior Caitlin Santefort (Mokena, Ill.) suffered the loss, going 5.2 innings before being relieved by sophomore Lindsay Stotler (Bloomington, Ill.). Santefort allowed four hits and one run, earned. She also walked three while striking out none. Stotler threw 1.1 innings, allowing two hits and one earned run. She struck out one and walked one.

Day two saw the Tigers struggle with plating a run and hitting as they were held to four hits against the Coyote.  Truelock continued to be hot in the post season, going 2-for-3 with a double, but no one could push her around to put the Tigers on the board. Gardner and Krippel each added a single.

Stotler picked up the loss, going the distance. She allowed five hits, while striking out three and walking one.

Olivet finished a highly successful season which saw them go on a 43-game winning streak after suffering back-to-back losses to start the season. The streak is the second longest in NAIA history. They went 45-games without a loss, having ended the winning streak with a tie to Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival St. Xavier University (Ill.). The 112-games without a shut-out is also second in NAIA history. The Tigers captured the CCAC Regular Season Title with a 19-0-1 record and went on to win the CCAC Tournament. They also went 3-0 in the Davenport Bracket of the NAIA Opening Round to earn their trip to Columbus. Olivet had seven 1st Team CCAC All-Conference honorees and Gardner repeated as Player of the Year.

Off the field, the Tigers have two CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-Americans (Sendzik and Phillips), three NAIA Scholar Athletes (Sendzik, Phillips and Truelock) and nine CCAC All-Academic team honorees.