Rogers State Softball picked up a pair of big victories on the final day of the A&M-Commerce Invitational defeating Arkansas-Monticello 21-0 and No. 10 Texas A&M-Commerce 2-0 on a cloudy and rainy day at the John Cain Family Softball Field.
The Hillcats (7-2) claimed multiple school records, a NCAA-era record and their second top-25 ranked victory of the weekend to close out the invitational with a 4-1 record.
How It Happened (UAM): The Hillcats came out strong and plated 13 runs in the top of the first inning to take a commanding lead in a half inning that took 38 minutes to complete and featured three different pitchers for Monticello.
After loading the bases, Elexis Watson worked a full-count walk to bring in Sabrina Anguiano for the opening run of the game. Makayla Bowman then roped a double into right center, to bring around Jaylan Gibson and Danelle Day.
Following a walk from Tailee Reding, Allie McFetridge worked another full-count walk for the Hillcats to bring in Watson for the fourth run of the inning. Following a pop out in foul territory for the first out of the inning, Kimberli Presnell hit a single in to center field, scoring Bowman and Reding to put the Hillcats ahead 6-0.
Having batted around in the inning, Anguiano then stepped up and singled to load the bases again for Gibson, who walked in McFetridge. Day then worked her second walk of the game as Presnell scored.
Watson then hit a single through the left side to score Anguiano and Gibson and give the Hillcats 10 runs in the inning. Following another full-count walk worked by Bowman to load the bases again, Reding too worked a full count and walked in Day.
McFetridge then nearly cleared the bases with a fly ball down the right field line, but it was caught just in front of the wall for a sacrifice fly, as Watson scored from third. The final run of the inning came by way of a Mikayla Waggnor single to right center, scoring Bowman.
That would be more than enough run support for the defense, as three Hillcat pitchers scattered two hits for the team shutout.
After the Hillcat offense was shutout in the second, Rogers State plated three runs in the third, two in the fourth and three more in the fifth.
McFetridge added a two-RBI double in the top of the third, scoring Reding and Bowman. Faren Walker also scored in the inning on a fielding error.
In the fourth inning, Walker had a RBI single up the middle to score Day and Breyana Estep added a bases loaded walk to score Watson.
In the fifth inning, Walker doubled to center field, scoring Watson and Bowman for runs 19 and 20 on the day. Presnell then capped the scoring with a single to right, scoring Reding.
How It Happened (TAMC): After a scoreless first inning for the Hillcats and Lions, Rogers State took the lead as Watson hit her first home run of the season with a solo shot to center field to lead off the second inning.
The Hillcats added another run in the third inning, as Rogers State capitalized on good plate discipline. Gibson worked a one-out walk and then Watson worked a two-out walk to put Gibson in scoring position. After a wild pitch allowed the base runners to move to second and third, Hayley Womack drove in a run on a fielder’s choice play with everyone safe and Gibson scoring from third.
Rogers State wouldn’t need any more runs as Morales picked up her second shutout of the season and win six of the campaign.
Players of Note: Morales tossed two scoreless innings in game one of the day, striking out three while allowing just one walk and no hits. Morales finished with 10 strikeouts in game two, allowing three hits and two walks. Her final line for the day was 9.0 innings pitched, no runs allowed, three hits against, three walks and 13 strikeouts.
Watson finished the day perfect at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a home run, five walks, five runs scored and four Runs batted in.
Bowman had three extra-base hits on the day, going 3-for-5 with three doubles, two walks, two RBIs and four runs scored.
Waggnor was 3-for-4 over two games with a double, a walk and a hit by pitch. She had one RBI and a sacrifice bunt.
Walker was 2-for-2 at the plate in game one, hitting a double, driving in three runs and scoring another. She also had a stolen base.
M’Kayla Hillman pitched two scoreless innings against Arkansas-Monticello to pick up the victory, her first of the season. She had three strikeouts and just one hit against her.
Key Statistics: With the bases loaded against Arkansas-Monticello, the Hillcats were 6-for-11 with two doubles, a sacrifice fly, six walks and 15 RBIs.
In fill count situations against Arkansas-Monticello, Rogers State was 1-for-4 with six walks, five runs and four RBIs.
In game two, the Hillcats allowed just one runner past second base against the top-10 ranked Lions.
Notes: Rogers State set a new school record for runs in a game, scoring 21 against Arkansas-Monticello. The previous Hillcat record for runs in a game came in a 19-3 victory on the road at Oklahoma Panhandle State on April 7, 2017. The Hillcats 20 RBIs was also a school record.
The Hillcats also set a new school record for walks in a game with 15, breaking the previous record of 13 walks against Nebraska-Kearney last season on February 16, 2019.
Rogers State’s 13 runs in the first inning against Arkansas-Monticello is the second-most runs in an inning in school history for the Hillcats and the most in the NCAA era. The record is 14 runs in an inning, set in the first inning of a 17-5 win for the Hillcats against Missouri Valley on February 20, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. It is the fifth time in school history that the Hillcats scored double-digits in an inning.
With the shutout victory over Texas A&M-Commerce, the Hillcats have tossed three consecutive shutouts, outscoring opponents 31-0.
Heading into game two, Morales had tossed nine consecutive scoreless innings, her longest streak of the season. She has now extended the streak to 16-straight innings with the shutout victory in game two.
Sunday’s win is the first victory against Texas A&M-Commerce in the short history of the series. The Hillcats dropped both games in a doubleheader at then No. 14 A&M-Commerce last season.
Rogers State’s 14 hits, 20 RBIs, five doubles and 15 walks against Arkansas-Monticello are all season highs. It’s the most hits in a game since recording 19 vs Missouri S&T on February 3, 2018. It’s the most doubles for the Hillcats since hitting seven at Southern Nazarene on March 15, 2017.
What It Means: With the sweep on the final day, Rogers State finished the A&M Commerce Invitational with a 4-1 record, including a 2-1 record against teams ranked in the top 25.
The Hillcats, winners of three straight, will enter next week’s competitive Edmond Regional festival with a 7-2 record and both losses on the season coming by just one run.
Up Next: Rogers State will begin a stretch of 20 of the next 22 games being played in the state of Oklahoma, starting off with the first of two weekends at the Edmond Regional Festival. The Hillcats will play five games, hosted by Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma Christian, beginning with a doubleheader against Colorado-Colorado Springs and Lubbock Christian. First pitches are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. at Oklahoma Christian in Oklahoma City.