OU softball rolls to second conference tournament title

By The Herald Staff

The Ottawa University softball team is the queens of the KCAC in 2021.

The Lady Braves captured the program's second KCAC Tournament championship with a 4-0 win Friday over Avila University in Great Bend. Ottawa (42-5) set a new single-season record for wins. The 21 straight wins is also a program best.

Ottawa University Casson Rassmussen helped lead the Lady Braves to the KCAC Tournament title.

No. 20 Ottawa plays at the NAIA National Championship Opening Round. The bracket reveal will take place 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The Ottawa offense struck for four runs in the third inning and turned it over to the pitching and defense.

Ottawa ace Casson Rasmussen answered the call. She earned her 26th win of the season. She surrendered three hits and had a no-hitter through 5.1 innings.

Ottawa dominated the all-conference selections with 10 players selected to the teams. Rassmussen was named the KCAC Pitcher of the Year. Ally Pickering earned KCAC Newcomer of the Year honors. Jay Kahnt was named KCAC Coach of the Year. Rasmussen, Pickering and Allison Kearney were named to the KCAC Gold Glove Team.

Kahnt eared his fifth coach of the year award. He has an overall record of 496-376 and a KCAC record of 230-116. Kahnt guide Ottawa to five KCAC championships, two KCAC Tournament championship, five NAIA Opening Rounds, and three NAIA World Series appearances.

Rassmussen was a first team selection. She has a 26-3 record this season. She is among the NAIA leaders in wins, saves (3), innings pitched, ERA and opponent batting average.

Pickering was a first-team selection. The ouftfielder led Ottawa in batting average at .452.

Sammi Bates, outielder was a first team selection. Bates has a .408 batting average.

Lyndsey Loomis, first baseman, earned second team honors. She hit .420.

Kearney, second baseman was named to the second team. Kearney has a .364 batting average. She is a two-time gold glove winner.

Justyse Rodriguez, Madison Bunfill, Cierra Faubion and Tomi-Lyn Hickman were honorable mention selections.