Softball hosts crucial games on Thursday
Lady Lions welcome Northwood for twinbill
Sophomore hurlers, Abair, Nance get key starts
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s softball team will host an important doubleheader on Thursday afternoon at the team’s new campus ballfield.
The Lady Lions, 11-10 so far in just their second season of existence, will meet Northwood University in the first of two games, starting at 2:00pm (CST).
SAGU is battling for a Top Six finish that would earn the Lady Lions their first berth in the Red River Athletic Conference tournament. The team is current in sixth place with a 5-7 won-lost record in games involving teams from the RRAC.
The Lady Knights have won four in a row and, at 7-10 overall and 4-2 in the Red River, have moved up to fourth.
They jousted Bacone College on Tuesday, 9-5, to sweep a three-game set in Muskogee, Ok. On Monday they took two from the Tribe (9-15, 8-4 in RRAC), each time by a 4-3 score.
A year ago the Knights swept the Lady Lions in their inaugural season. Northwood finished with a 23-22 record. At 16-8 they were third in the RRAC.
SAGU Head Coach Tim Grant said on Tuesday he will likely start sophomores Ashley Abair (Kennedale, Tx / Kennedale HS) and Shannen (Davis) Nance (Enid, Ok / Kremlin-Hillsdale HS).
The right-handers have each won a game over the past two weekends.
Abair (AY-bair) tossed a complete game on Friday in a 5-3 victory over University of the Southwest.
Nance, who took a loss in the first game, entered Saturday’s first game in relief, going five innings without yielding a run.
In the triumph over Southwest, freshman third baseman Kelsey Coburn (Lewisville, TX / Lewisville HS) hit the school's first-ever home run at home. She blasted a deep shot down the left-field line that easily cleared the fence.
Fans are urged to support the Lady Lions in perhaps their most meaningful games of the season.
Northwood is 4-6 in their past ten games, scoring 37 and allowing 49. Team Purple is 5-5, pushing across 53 runs while permitting 73.
The Weather Channel is calling for a high of 75 with possible, light, scattered showers.
SAGU travels 45 minutes to Ft. Worth for three games against Texas Wesleyan University on April 2-3. A twilight doubleheader on Tuesday starts at 5:00pm, with a single game on Wednesday afternoon at 3:00pm.
Sycamore Park is the home playing site for the Lady Rams (10-17, 3-6 in RRAC).
The National Christian College Athletic Association, with over 120 member colleges ranging from the NAIA up to the NCAA's Division 2, remains an attractive post-season option for SAGU.
Central Baptist College will host the NCCAA's Central Regional during April 26-27 in Conway, Arkansas. The Lady Lions hope to qualify for a berth in the tournament.
There are eleven schools in the Central, with SAGU currently rated sixth. The Burbridge Rating system, which includes points for toughness of schedule and home/away record, ranks the Purple Pride no. 26.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University (15-8) has the highest rating, followed by Central Baptist (15-9) and Oklahoma Christian University (15-12). The Eagles of OWU are #11 in the NCCAA overall.
Southern Nazarene University (10-20), an NCAA D2 school, is fourth, with Colorado Christian University (10-14), also in D2, in fifth place.
SAGU (11-10) is sixth. Mid-America Christian University (7-15) trails in seventh.
The remaining four include Southwestern Christian University, Crowley's Ridge College, Ecclesia College and Central Christian College.
The Central Region members are from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, Texas and Kansas.
The winner of the region, and possibly a second team (provided they win an at-large berth) will advance to the NCCAA Nationals. An eight-team field will compete for the championship at the Botetourt Softball Complex in Botetourt County, Virginia.
Bluefield College (Va) will serve as the host team for the May 9-11 venue.
or at 469-658-2847.