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
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.