OLLU is set to host the San Antonio Bracket of the 2023 NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round. The 10th annual event takes place today through Wednesday at 10 host cities. The San Antonio bracket tournament will be held at St. Mary’s University.
The NAIA Championship Opening Round includes a 40-team field with the champions from each of the 10 Opening Round tournaments around the nation will meet in the 42nd Annual NAIA Softball World Series that will be held at South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus, Ga.
Joining No. 1 seed OLLU in the San Antonio bracket are No. 2 seed Hope International University from Fullerton, Calif., Campbellsville University from Campbellsville, Ky. and No. 4 seed Taylor University from Upland, Ind.
In game one, Hope International and Campbellsville will compete at 11 a.m. today. The Saints will take the field at 1 p.m. today against Taylor.
The NAIA No. 2-ranked Saints softball team was crowned Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Tournament champions as they defeated Texas A&M University-San Antonio (TAMUSA) in a pair of games on May 7. The Saints forced the championship matchup after winning the first game 13-0. They won the conference title after blanking the Jaguars again in the second game 6-0.
Game one The Saints started the day with a dominant 13-0 victory. They held the Jaguars to two hits while they totaled 13. Cassandra Valdez started in the circle and earned the win after two innings with four strikeouts. Angela Ramirez pitched three innings in relief and allowed only two hits. The Saints were one out away from a combined no-hitter when Sam Gaona doubled in the fifth inning. Alyssa Flore went 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs. Madison Nunn also had three RBIs including a double and triple. Five different Saints players had a multi-hit game. The Saints forced a championship deciding game with the victory.
Game two OLLU leaned on strong offense again in the second game. Rebecca Duran started the scoring with a sacrifice fly that scored Nunn in the third inning. The Saints scored the other five runs in the fifth inning. Valdez, Alyssa Flores, Montgomery and Nunn all picked up RBIs in the frame. Valdez pitched a complete game with 11 strikeouts. She allowed only two hits to earn the win and move to 25-3 on the season. The Saints won 6-0 to claim the RRAC Tournament championship. OLLU also grabbed the RRAC regular season title prior to the tournament after going undefeated in conference play.
The Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) announced the 2023 RRAC Softball All-Conference Team and Player of the Year awards on May 4. Coaches determined the selections, with those on the first team being eligible for NAIA All-America consideration at the completion of the season.
The Saints ended the regular season with a 28-0 RRAC record and are now 43-4 overall with a 34-game winning streak. The Saints – the NAIA’s No. 2 team, Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) – won three of five top awards of the year and placed six on the all-conference first team and one on the second team.
The Saints’ Cassandra Valdez won RRAC Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year awards for the second year. Head Coach Bruce Lenington was selected as Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
The following are current, significant stats (top five) for all the honorees:
RRAC Player of the Year and RRAC Pitcher of the Year – Cassandra Valdez: She dominated the circle with 21 wins and 291 strikeouts – both conference-bests. She was also third in the conference in ERA (1.53). As a hitter, Valdez batted .398 (fifth in the conference) with a conference-best 13 home runs and conference second-best 39 RBIs. Her other stats include first in runs (38), first in slugging percentage (.864), fourth in hits (47), fifth in batting average (.398)
RRAC Coach of the Year – Bruce Lenington: In his fourth year at OLLU, Lenington guided the Saints to a 43-4 mark for the season so far. OLLU leads the conference with 327 runs, 93 doubles, 64 home runs, 302 RBIs, 148 walks, .426 on-base percentage and .609 slugging percentage. The Saints are also first in strikeouts with 291. They are second in hits with 385, triples with 28, and batting average at .334. The Saints are second in innings pitched with 279.2 and in ERA at 1.70. Finally, the Saints are first in overall fielding percentage at .970.
Rebecca Duran – first in runs (38), fifth in hits (45), fourth in doubles (13)
Madison Nunn – first in RBIs (40), second in home runs (10), second in slugging percentage (.792), fifth in runs (35), first in fielding percentage (1.000)
Madison Garza – third in slugging percentage (.675), fourth in doubles (14)
The No. 2-ranked Saints softball team won both contests against the University of the Southwest (USW) on April 15. The Saints remain undefeated in Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) play at 24-0 and are 38-4 overall. The Lady Mustangs fall to 9-26 overall and 4-18 in RRAC competition. The Saints extended their winning streak to 29 games.
Head Coach Bruce Lenington said, “Today we really focused on improving offensively and many players made contributions. We’ve won 29 games in a row, but they are all working to get better every time we step on the field.”
History The Saints were 41-13 against the Lady Mustangs prior to the games.
Game one The Saints put up 11 runs on 12 hits in the first game. OLLU totaled six runs in the second inning. Madison Nunn, Ariel Montgomery, Rebecca Duran and Cassandra Valdez all picked up RBIs. Montgomery followed with a solo home run in the third inning. The Saints added four more runs in the later innings and won 11-5. Montgomery and Nunn both finished with three RBIs each. Valdez picked up the win in the circle after pitching a complete game with 11 strikeouts. The Saints finished with five doubles.
Game two The Saints won the second game 6-1 by scoring at least one run in every inning besides the first and sixth. Mackenzie Purcell, Valdez, and Montgomery picked up RBIs in the first four innings. Madison Garza smacked a solo home run in the fifth inning. Valdez tripled in the seventh frame to score Arianna Alejandro and Alyssa Flores hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Valdez. Angela Ramirez pitched six innings to earn the win with three strikeouts. Valdez pitched the final inning and struck out the side.
Up next The Saints return home to battle No. 6-ranked Texas A&M University-Texarkana in a doubleheader on Friday.
The No. 2-ranked Saints softball program has garnered national and local attention while on an unprecedented regular-season run that started in February. The Saints are 32-4 overall and have a perfect 18-0 Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) mark. OLLU has won 23 straight games, just one win away from matching their previous record of 24 straight wins set last season.
The team will have the chance to match and surpass their record in Kerrville on Wednesday as they take on Schreiner University in a double header. They will be back home on April 11 for a double header against Huston-Tillotson at 1 and 3 p.m.
The Saints were picked as the No. 15-ranked team to start the season in February after finishing the 2022 season in the NAIA National Regionals, where they went 2-2. The program hosted two tournaments to begin the year and won nine out of 12 contests. The Saints swept the NAIA’s No. 1 and three ranked seeds shortly after the season started. They defeated the defending national champions, Oklahoma City University, 15-3 and 8-1 on the road. They followed that impressive performance with two more victories against the No. 3-ranked University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Drovers. The four wins were integral in adding to the current 19-game winning streak. They finished February as the No. 7-ranked team in the NAIA, as announced on March 8.
OLLU received its highest NAIA ranking in program history on March 22. The Saints were recognized as the second-best team in the league and received two first-place votes. The Saints rank first statistically in the NAIA with 74 doubles, 56 home runs, 139 extra-base hits, 579 total bases and a .602 slugging percentage.
Head Coach Bruce Lenington returned for his fourth season, and prior to joining OLLU, he had stints at NCAA D1 Michigan State University and NAIA’s Lawrence Tech University. On March 7, he recorded his 100th career win.
The Saints have 11 games remaining before the RRAC Championship Tournament from May 5-8. OLLU will host the event for the second straight season.
The No. 2-ranked OLLU softball team downed the University of the Southwest (USW) in both games on March 26. The Saints improve to 26-4 overall and remain undefeated in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) at 12-0. The Lady Mustangs drop to 7-18 overall and 2-10 in RRAC play.
History The Saints were 39-13 against the Lady Mustangs prior to the games.
Game one The Saints blanked the Lady Mustangs in game one 10-0. OLLU scored all 10 runs in the first inning. Seven different players recorded at least one RBI during the inning. Madison Nunn, Madison Garza and Rebecca Duran all tabbed doubles during the frame. Cassandra Valdez started in the circle and pitched her first no-hitter as a Saint. She earned the win after striking out 11 batters in the five-inning run rule. Terrazas finished with three RBIs and Garza batted a perfect 2-for-2.
Game two OLLU tallied 13 runs on 12 hits in the second game of the doubleheader. The Lady Mustangs took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but the Saints responded quickly. Alyssa Flores and Ariel Montgomery recorded RBIs in the second inning to give the Saints a 2-1 advantage. Terrazas and Valdez hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning and the Saints tacked on even more runs. They plated 11 runs in the inning and run-ruled the Lady Mustangs again 13-4. Angela Ramirez pitched all five innings to earn the win. She allowed three hits and four earned runs. The Saints have won 17 straight games.
Up next The Saints travel to face the University of Houston-Victoria in a doubleheader on tomorrow at 2 p.m.
The softball team swept Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) in a doubleheader on March 19. The Saints move to 24-4 overall and 9-0 in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). The Gold Nuggets drop to 7-15 overall and 3-7 in RRAC play. The Saints have won 15 straight games.
Head Coach Bruce Lenington commented, “We had a combination of great starting pitching, timely hitting and solid defense throughout the games today.”
History The Saints were 2-0 against the Gold Nuggets prior to the games.
Game one The Saints didn’t allow a run in both games against the Gold Nuggets. They used runs in the later innings to grab the first game of the doubleheader. Madison Nunn started the scoring in the fourth inning with a two-run home run that scored Deandra Vera. Kayla Dreese scored on a fielder’s choice in the fifth inning to extend the Saints lead to 3-0. She doubled in the seventh inning to score Madison Garza and Cassandra Valdez followed with a single to bring in Dreese.
The Saints won 5-0 backed by nine hits. Valdez pitched a complete game and earned the win with 12 strikeouts. Garza tallied both a double and a triple.
Game two OLLU put up 10 runs in the second game. They totaled 13 hits including three doubles and a home run by Ariel Montgomery. Caitlin Terrazas and Garza both had a multi-hit game and Montgomery drove in two runs. Angela Ramirez grabbed the win in the circle by pitching four innings with four strikeouts. OLLU tabbed seven runs in an impressive offensive fourth inning. The Saints run-ruled the Gold Nuggets in five innings with a 10-0 victory.
Up next The Saints host the University of the Southwest in a doubleheader on Friday starting at noon.
The softball team continued on its 11-game winning streak after sweeping Texas A&M University–San Antonio (AM-SA) 3-2 and 13-0 in a Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) doubleheaders.
The Saints improve to 20-4 overall and 6-0 in the RRAC, while AM-SA drops to 7-12 overall and 2-2 in the RRAC.
Prior to the game, senior MacKenzie Purcell was recognized. She joined the Saints this season after previously playing for Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She has batted six times this season and amassed two hits, including a double. MacKenzie also walked twice, scored twice and drove in one runner. Purcell is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.
History The Saints are now 9-1 against the Jaguars. Last season, OLLU defeated AM-SA 11-4, 9-0 and 9-8, and lost 6-7.
Game One Caitlin Terrazas started the scoring with a solo home run in the first inning. The score remained 1-0 through the fourth inning when Terrazas hit her second homer of the game. After an at-bat from Ariel Montgomery, Joanna Gonzalez hit a homer to put the Saints up 3-0.
The Jaguars threatened in the sixth inning after Melissa Gonzalez doubled to score Peyton Vasquez. Samara Aguilera followed with a hit to left to send Allesandra Rosalez home. The Saints were able to close out the game with the 3-2 win.
Terrazas led the offense after going 2-for-2 with two homers and two RBIs. Cassandra Valdez got her 10th win after pitching seven innings and striking out a career-tying 12 batters.
Game Two The Saints wasted no time in filling the scoreboard. Madison Nunn’s single scored Terrazas and Rebecca Duran. Madison Garza reached base after an error by the catcher that scored Emilia Salinas. Kayla Dreese reached on a fielder’s choice to get all bases occupied. Kristee Salas came up to bat and hit a grand slam over the center field fence. All seven runs were scored in the first inning.
In the second inning, Nunn sent the ball over left, and she scored Alyssa Flores and Gonzalez to put the Saints up 10-0. Salas returned to bat in the third inning and hit her second homer of the game to give the Saints the 11-0 lead. Kaili Luna’s hit sent Deandra Vera home in the fourth inning. Luna scored on an error to put the Saints on top 13-0, and after the Jaguars batted in the top of the fifth, the Saints secured the win on the run rule.
Nunn and Salas both went 2-for-2, with five RBIs each. Nunn had one homer, while Salas had two. Angela Ramirez notched her eighth win after pitching all five innings and striking out four.
What’s next The Saints will travel to Louisiana for its next four games. They will play Louisiana Christian University on March 17 and Xavier University of Louisiana on Saturday.
The No. 15-ranked OLLU softball team swept NCAA D3 Schreiner University 9-1 and 4-1 on March 4. The wins move the Saints to 16-4 overall, while the Mountaineers drop to rovers fall to 5-9.
Before the game, the Saints honored senior Caitlin Terrazas, who joined the team in 2022.
History The Saints are 17-2 against Schreiner. Last year, the Saints beat the Mountaineers 6-1, 6-1, 3-0.
Game one The Saints jumped on the scoreboard first with a two-run homer that scored Cassandra Valdez. The score remained 2-0 through the fourth inning when the Mountaineers threatened with a homer of their own from Kendall Lippold. The Saints added another run in the bottom of the fourth after Rebecca Duran doubled to score Deandra Vera. In the fifth inning, Ariel Montgomery smacked the ball over center field to put the Saints ahead 5-1.
Montgomery started the four-run rally in the sixth inning after her hit scored Emilia Salinas. Joanna Gonzalez grounded out to short, which sent Terrazas home. Duran reached base on an error by the right fielder, and Julissa Moreno and Montgomery scored to end the game on the run rule.
Terrazas led the offense after going 2-for-4, adding two runs and two RBIs. Montgomery and Gonzalez also went 2-for-4, and Moreno went 2-for-3. Duran recorded three RBIs.
Valdez earned her eighth win of the season after striking out six.
Game two Schreiner’s Trista Miller singled to score Malorie Solis for the game’s first run. Duran reached base on a fielder’s choice, and Valdez came home to tie the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning. Garza knocked the ball to the left side of the field, and both Moreno and Salinas came home to put the Saints up 3-1 in the fifth. Marissa Bradley’s double scored Alyssa Garcia, and the Saints won 4-1.
Flores led the offense after going 2-for-2. Garza went 2-for-3 and added two RBIs.
Angela Ramirez pitched a seven-inning gem, striking out a career-high 12 to go up 6-0.
Up next The Saints travel to Austin next for a Red River Athletic Conference doubleheader against Huston-Tillotson University on Tuesday.