Ottawa (23-14) plays 11 a.m. Wednesday in the tourney opener against No. 4 Tabor. Ottawa and Tabor split a doubleheader in the regular season. The winner of the KCAC Tournament receives an automatic berth into the NAIA National Championship Tournament. Friends is assured of one berth with its regular-season championship.
The Lady Braves ended the regular season Saturday with a split at home against Sterling.
Ottawa lost the opener, 5-4, in eight innings. The Lady Braves bounced back in the nightcap for a 12-0 win in five innings.
The opener went back and forth from start to finish.
Sterling led 1-0 after the top of the first inning. Ottawa tied it when Cady Blevins scored on senior Amanda Martinsen’s ground out.
Sterling scored again in the second inning for a 2-1 lead. Ottawa tied it at 2-2 with a run in the third inning.
Darin Lewis scored on an error. Sterling regained the lead in the fourth with two runs for a 4-2 advantage.
Becca Dunlop went 2-for-4 and Martinsen led the Lady Braves with two RBIs. Ottawa had just four hits
Morgan Beckler pitched the first four innings. Hailie Ray tossed the final four frames. Both had six strikeouts.
Ottawa’s bats exploded in the nightcap. Ottawa had nine hits, one by each starter. Ottawa scored four runs in the first and second innings.
Ottawa third baseman Catherine Wallace smashed a grand slam in the first inning. She finished with five RBIs. Lydia Budke had two RBIs.
Morgan Shramek earned her 11th victory of the season. She tossed a two-hitter in four innings.