Three Bison softball players honored by GAC
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Three student-athletes from the Oklahoma Baptist softball team earned a spot on the All-Great American Conference Team on Wednesday afternoon as voted on by the league's coaches.
Pitcher Kayleigh Jones earned the nod on the second team in the circle while outfielders Cheyenne Demaree and Shelby Savage were each named to the honorable mention team.
Jones, a sophomore from Claremore, had a huge breakout season for the Bison as she has been the workhorse for most of the season with a 13-7 record and a 2.58 ERA. Jones led the GAC in strikeouts for most of the year until a late-season injury sidelined her with minimal use the final three weeks of the season. She sits fourth in the GAC in strikeouts with 127 to only 38 walks in 111.1 innings of work.
Jones had 12 complete games and four shutouts on the season including back-to-back dominant performance against East Central and Fort Hays State. Jones tossed a complete game shutout and struck out 10 to clinch the GAC series over the Tigers and followed that with another complete game shutout with 11 strikeouts in the win over FHSU.
Demaree, a senior from Pryor, moved into second place all-time in career home runs as she led the team with five on the season to go with a team-leading 23 runs batted in. Demaree is the top hitter in OPS at .987 clip and is 12th in the GAC with a .589 slugging percentage.
Maybe Demaree's biggest performance came on Senior Day against Southern Arkansas as she blasted a two-run shot to give the Bison the early lead and score the go-ahead run in a 3-2 victory over the Muleriders. Demaree finished 2-for-2 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Savage, a senior from Shawnee and a Dale High School graduate, led the team with a .353 average to go with a career-high four home runs, 18 RBI, and a team-leading 21 runs scored. Savage also led the team with seven stolen bases and has an on base percentage of .405. She was also a stalwart at her center field position with 71 putouts.
Savage's biggest game came against Southern Nazarene where the senior finished 3-for-3 on the day including a home run. Savage came through with clutch long balls numerous times this season.
In her third season, head coach Sam Maples and her squad have elevated the Bison to their first appearance in the postseason since joining NCAA Division II with a 21-19 overall record and a 16-17 GAC mark. OBU has wins over the top four seeds in the tournament, including taking two out of three from No. 4 Arkansas Tech.
The Bison take on No. 2 seed Harding in the GAC Tournament on Friday at 4 p.m. in Bentonville, Ark.