GEORGETOWN, Texas – Softball defeated Howard Payne 4-2 and 4-3 in a doubleheader on Friday afternoon.
The Pirates struck first in game one of the day. Karen Ramirez led off the 1st with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ashleigh Scott. Ramirez was thrown out at the plate as Tessa Galloway reached on a fielder's choice to first base. Kayla Irvin followed with an RBI single to right field, scoring Galloway from first to give SU the early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 4th, O'Connor hit a one out single down the left field line and then stole second base. She advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ramirez. O'Connor later scored on a bloop single to center field by Scott. Galloway followed with a RBI double off the fence in left center field to extend the lead to 3-0.
Jessica Bryant singled to third base with one out in the 5th. She moved up to second on a single through the left side by Michelle Ramos. Then Linsay Biggers loaded the bases with a bunt single towards third. Southwestern scored as Bryant tagged up and made it home on a sacrifice fly to center field by O'Connor to bump the lead to 4-0.
The Yellow Jackets would get on the scoreboard in the 7th inning. Zarate led off with a solo home run that carried over the wall in center field. Middleton later hit a two out double to left center. Caraway followed with a line drive single just over the reach of the shortstop to move Middleton to third. Then Gober hit a RBI single to right field. Southwestern pitcher Kelsey Kingston struck out Morales to end the rally and collect the win for the Pirates.
Howard Payne got out to a good start in game two. Poerner led off the 1st with a double to left center and advanced to third on a sacrifice by Tellez. Middleton drove her in after reaching on a bunt single towards third to give the visitors the 1-0 lead.
Southwestern tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the 2nd on a Stacy Rosengren solo blast over the fence in left field. In the 3rd inning, the Bucs would take the lead. Ramirez reached on an error by the second baseman to start the frame. Then Scott bunted and reached on an error by the pitcher. Galloway followed with an RBI single to right field to give Southwestern the 2-1 edge.
HPU's Poerner hit a one out triple down the right field line in the top of the 5th. She scored on a single to center field by Tellez to knot the game at 2-2.
The Pirates rallied in the 6th inning. Irvin drew a leadoff walk and Victoria Vazquez came in to pinch run for her. Then Rosengren singled up the middle and moved Vasquez to second. Caroline Young entered the game as a pinch hitter and promptly singled to center field to load the bases. Another pinch hitter, Christina Crandall, reached base on a fielder's choice as Vasquez was thrown out at the plate. On the play, the catcher had a throwing error that allowed Rosengren to score and Young to advance to third. Biggers drove home Young from third with a single up the middle to put Southwestern up 4-2.
Howard Payne made it interesting in their last at-bats. Poerner hit a one out double to left field and then Tellez drew a walk. Middleton struck out swinging but the ball got away from the catcher and she appeared to have reached first with the other runners moving to second and third. However, Middleton was called out on the play because first base was occupied at the time. The Yellow Jackets closed the gap on a RBI single to right field by Caraway to cut it to a 4-3 game. The Pirates were able to retire Gober on a ground out to first base and preserve the win.
Kelsey Kingston pitched well and picked up two complete game wins on the day. The Pirates were led offensively in game one by Tessa Galloway, who went 2-4 with a double, a RBI and scored a run. Stacy Rosengren helped carry the team in game two by going 2-3 with a home run, a RBI, and scored twice. With the pair of wins, Southwestern's record improves to 20-8 on the year.
The team returns to action at home against the University of Dallas in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 6th, beginning at 1:00pm.