Lady Owls Softball Season Comes to an End
By: Baylee Toney
The Oregon Tech Softball players are hanging up their cleats after a long and successful season.
The Lady Owls finished third in the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) behind Corban and Southern Oregon with a 20-7 conference record.
The team was hoping to advance to the National Tournament in Clermont, Florida this year, but the path to get there was not easy. For a trip to Florida, teams must take a first-place finish in the Conference Tournament where they would then get placed at one of the ten Regional spots across the US.
The CCC played their conference tournament in Salem at Corban University where Southern Oregon University (SOU) took the first place trophy home and advanced to the regional tournament. Luckily for Oregon Tech, they were still able to receive an at large bid to secure a spot in Costa Mesa to compete for a trip to Nationals.
In the first game at Regionals, the Owls pulled out a win beating the home team, Vanguard College, 2-1. The next game, they lost to the #4 nationally ranked team, Marian, by a close score of 3-1. After two competitive games, the team was able to stay alive by beating Avila University 7-2 and advance to the championship game of the tournament.
Tech was scheduled a rematch against Marian, but unfortunately their season ended after falling 7-0 to the no. 4 ranked team.
“Marian is a really good team. If we could have put some more runs on the board it definitely would have given us a better shot, but we did our best and just fell short for the ultimate goal of Florida,” said senior shortstop and co-captain Karly Leveque.
The Lady Owls may not have made the trip to Florida this year, but their hard work and perseverance throughout the season is not to be unrecognized. The team finished with a winning record of 36-17 which includes wins over multiple nationally ranked teams.
Some of the players were also a part of the team that made an appearance at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA) National Softball Tournament in 2015 where they received a fourth place trophy. Five of those players are seniors, and have hung up their cleats for the last time. Head Coach Greg Stewart has been with them since their first college softball game.
“These seniors led this team with great character and work ethic. It will be hard to replace their positive attitudes and the way they built outstanding team chemistry,” said Head Coach Stewart.
Although the season has come to an end, the players and coaches are very pleased with how far the team has come this year.
“I’m definitely sad. This year was a lot of fun and I have got some really great memories to hold onto. I will really miss playing collegiate sports,” said Leveque.
“I am very proud of this team and really appreciated how hard they worked and the dedication they showed to have another successful season with 36 wins on the year,” said Stewart.