Lions run away with game one, steal game two against St. Edward’s to sweep season series -- LINK
AUSTIN– The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team picked up two wins in a doubleheader against St. Edward's University on Tuesday. The Lions ran away with a 15-3 win in five innings in game one and a nail biting 4-3 win in the second game.
The wins bring A&M-Commerce to 17-8 on the season. With the wins, the Lions have now won five consecutive games. The Hilltoppers fall to 9-17 on the season. The Lions swept the season series against SEU, winning both sets of doubleheaders.
The Lions return to Lone Star Conference action on Friday as they begin a three-game series against UT Permian Basin on the road. The Lions have a doubleheader against the Falcons on Friday starting at 4 p.m. The teams will then have a single matchup on Saturday at 1 p.m. All games will be played at the UTPB Softball Field in Odessa.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Kinsie Hebler hit the ninth grand slam in program history in the fourth inning of the first game. She also had two RBIs in the second game for the Lions, including the game-winning RBI in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly. Overall, she went 2-of-4 on the day with a double, a grand slam and two walks. She scored two runs and batted in six.
- The Lions scored 11 runs on seven hits in the fourth inning of the first game, tying the school record for most runs scored in an inning.
- The Lions margin of victory in game one, 12 runs, is the second highest margin of victory in a game in school history.
- Selena Rima pitched in relief in both games and earned both wins. She pitched 6.1 innings and held batters to a .217 average. She gave up only five hits and had zero extra base hits and did not give up an earned run. Rima also had an RBI single and scored a run as a batter.
- Baylea Higgs went 5-of-8 at the plate and scored four runs while batting in three. She also was successful in all three of her base-stealing attempts, bringing her season total to 25 swipes without being caught.
- Precious Thompson went 2-of-6 with two runs scored and three RBIs.
- Tyler Oppenheim went 3-of-4 with a .833 on base percentage. She walked twice, scored two runs and had an RBI and a stolen base.
- Ciera Nunez had a single and two walks. She scored two runs, had two steals and had an RBI.
- December Rivers had two hits and a run scored. Mariah Jameyson had an RBI single, scored a run and stole a base. Katie Dean had an RBI, a walk and a run scored.
- Chealsea Slider, Cherie Jackson, Jordyn Sharp and Vanessa Avina also had runs scored. Avina had two steals and Sharp had one steal.
- The Lions were successful on 10 of their 12 steal attempts.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)
The Hilltoppers were the first ones on the board. In the bottom of the first inning, after a leadoff single, the Lions attempted to turn a double play and a throwing error advanced the runner to third base. She was driven in on a sacrifice fly and SEU led 1-0 after the first inning.
The Lions wasted no time responding, scoring three runs in the top of the second inning. Slider had a leadoff walk and was pinch run for by Avina. She stole second base and then Dean also drew a walk. After an illegal pitch advanced the runners, Higgs had an infield single that scored Avina. A wild throw attempting to tag out Dean got away from the Hilltopperdefense and Dean was allowed to score as well. Higgs promptly stole second base and was driven in by Nunez on a single. The Lions led 3-1 after 1.5 innings.
Both teams went three-up and three-down in their next at bats, and the Lions still held their two-run lead. However, SEU erased the Lion lead in the bottom of the third inning. The leadoff hitter was hit by a pitch and then the next two batters got singles to load the bases with no outs. A run was brought across on a throwing error. A second runner tried to score but was tagged out at the plate. After another walk, the Lions brought in Rima as a reliever. She hit the first batter she faced, which scored another run. The next two batters popped out to end the third inning with the teams tied at three.
The Lions looked to respond again in the top of the fourth. Slider reached on an error to lead off the inning and then Oppenheim reached on a walk. Thompson then came to the plate to lay down a sacrifice bunt and reached on another throwing error, loading the bases with no outs. After a strikeout and a pitching change, Higgs came to the plate and singled through the left side, driving in Slider. Nunez came to the plate next and reached on a fielder's choice that didn't produce an out, scoring Oppenheim. With the bases loaded, Hebler came to the plate and with a full count, she blasted a pitch over the center field fence, registering a grand slam that put the Lions up by six.
The rally didn't stop there. Jameyson drew a walk and Rivers singled through the right side. After a strikeout and a passed ball, Oppenheim came up and hit a single to score Jameyson. After Oppenheim stole second, Thompson hit a double into right center that scored both runners. She was driven in on a single from Rima. Rima also scored on a triple from Higgs. In all, 11 runs crossed the plate for the Lions in the fourth inning, tying a school record. The Lions led 14-3.
After a three-up three-down inning for SEU in the bottom of the fourth, the Lions threatened again in the fifth. After the first two batters were out, Jackson, Slider and Cally Pausewang all drew walks to load the bases. The Hilltoppers went to their bullpen but Thompson came to the plate and had an infield single to drive in another run. The Lions led 15-3 going into the bottom of the fifth.
The Hilltoppers had two singles in the bottom of the fifth but the runners were unable to come around and the game was called due to the run-ahead rule.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)
The Lions struck first in game two. Nunez reached on an error and Hebler drew a walk. After pinch runner Avina stole second, Jameyson singled into center field to score Nunez. The Lions led 1-0 early in the game.
The Hilltoppers tied the game in the bottom of the second inning. A leadoff single was followed by a sacrifice bunt and a single down the right field line to score the runner. Another single put runners on the corners but a strikeout from Dean and a groundout ended the inning. The game was tied at one after two innings.
The Lions took the lead back in the top of the third inning. Higgs had a single and then stole second base. Hebler then doubled down the right field line and drove in Higgs to give the Lions a 2-1 lead. Dean forced two groundouts and a fly out to center field in the bottom half of the inning.
The Lions again had a rally in the top of the fourth inning. Rivers had a leadoff single and was pitch ran for by Sharp. She stole second base and then Slider was hit by a pitch. Oppenheim then had a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. After a pop out, Dean hit into a fielder's choice and Sharp was able to score. Another pop up ended the inning and the Lions led 3-1.
SEU responded in the bottom of the fourth. A leadoff walk was followed by a sacrifice bunt to get a runner in scoring position. The Hilltoppers then had consecutive singles to drive in a run. Rima then came in but a passed ball advanced the runners to second and third base. A fielder's choice drove in the tying run. The Lions then forced a double play as a grounder was hit to Rivers. She stepped on first and then threw out the runner at home. The game was tied at three after four innings.
Nunez had a leadoff walk and then stole second base to start the fifth inning. However, the next three batters were retired in order, keeping the game level. SEU had two base runners in the bottom of the inning but none came around and the game was tied at three going into the sixth. Each team had base runners on in the sixth inning but neither team could bring them around and the game was tied going into the seventh inning.
Higgs led off the inning with a single into right field. She then stole second base. After a strikeout, Higgs advanced to third base on a wild pitch and then was brought in on a sacrifice fly from Hebler into right field. The Lions led 4-3 going into the bottom of the seventh.
A leadoff walk gave SEU hope but the next batter attempted a bunt but got under it and Rima made the catch and then caught the runner on first trying to tag back up for a double play. A groundout ended the game.
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