Special to the Journal
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor softball team dropped a pair of games to No. 3 East Texas Baptist University Friday evening in Belton. The Tigers grabbed a 7-1 win and 5-3 win over the Cru, advancing to 5-0 on the season and 5-0 in American Southwest Conference action. The Cru fell to 6-6 on the season and 5-3 in conference play with the losses.
ETBU used a pair of homeruns to take control of the first game. Sara Clements homered in the top of the third, scoring Kayla Garcia to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Kaitlyn Hollingshead was next, hitting a home run in the top of the fourth, scoring Katy Hill and Clements for a 5-0 lead. Mallory Westbrook followed that with an RBI single, scoring Lacey Lindsey for a 6-0 win after four innings. ETBU added another run in the top of the fifth off a sacrifice fly from Jayme Perez, scoring Maranda Westbrook for a 7-0 lead. UMHB added one run in the bottom of the sixth when Karley Free hit an RBI single, scoring Christy Garrett from second, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 7-1.
UMHB was not able to respond in the seventh, giving ETBU the 7-1 win. Karley Free led the Cru with two hits while Janie Neyland and Myranda Hinojosa each added one. Haley Parker took the loss in the circle for the Cru, pitching 3.1 innings with six runs on eight hits. Oliva Curtis came in the final 3.2 innings for UMHB, allowing one run on two hits. UMHB combined for two strikeouts in the contest and walked just three batters. Shelby Parker earned the win for the Tigers, pitching a complete seven innings with one run, four hits and eight strikeouts. UMHB totaled one run on four this with two errors while the Tigers had seven runs on 10 hits with one error.
The Tigers took an early lead in the second contest when Garcia scored off an error on the Cru. ETBU extended that lead to three when Perez hit a two-RBI single to score Alexis Padilla and Mallory Westbrook. Leah Brown evened the score for the Cru in the bottom of the third inning, hitting a home run over the left field wall to score Kelsey Vann and Christy Garrett for a 3-3 tie. Mallory Westbrook scored of another Crusader error in the top of the fourth, followed by an RBI single from Garcia to give the Tigers a 5-3 lead. UMHB was not able to generate another scoring offense, falling 5-3 to the Tigers. Emily Marrs led the Cru with three hits while Brown and Free each added one. Tiffany Birdwell took the loss for the Cru, giving up five runs on six hits with four strikeouts. Kelly Jo McLendon earned the win for ETBU, allowing three runs on six hits with one strikeout. UMHB totaled three runs on six hits with three errors while the Tigers had five runs on six hits with one error.
UMHB rallied from a six-run deficit against No. 3 East Texas Baptist Saturday afternoon in Belton, but dropped the final game of three-game series 7-5 to the Tigers. The win improved ETBU to 6-0 on the season and 6-0 in American Southwest Conference action. The Cru fell to 6-7 overall and 5-4 in conference play with the loss.
Kaitlyn Hollingshead gave ETBU a lead in the top of the third with a homerun over the centerfield wall, scoring Kayla Garcia from first and giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead. The Tigers added another run in the top of the fourth when Taylor Lindsay hit an RBI single, scoring Maranda Westbrook for a 3-0 lead. The Tigers added three more runs in the top of the fifth before Leah Brown hit a homerun over the left field wall in the bottom of the fifth, scoring Tiffany Birdwell and cutting the Tigers’ lead to 6-2. The Cru used a strong bottom of the sixth to cut the Tigers’ lead, scoring three runs off a pair of walks and an ETBU error.
The Tigers added one more run in the top of the seventh and the Cru was unable to catch up, giving ETBU the 7-5 victory. Janie Neyland led the Cru with three hits while Birdwell and Brown each added two. Brown had a team-high three RBI while five different Crusaders scored runs for UMHB. Birdwell took the loss in the circle, allowing three runs on four hits with one strikeout. Karen Tennis and Olivia Curtis also contributed to the pitching staff for UMHB. Tennis went 0.2 innings with three runs on three hits while Curtis pitched 2.2 innings, giving up one run on three hits. UMHB totaled five runs on 10 hits with three errors while the Tigers had seven runs on 10 hits with two errors.
UMHB returns to action in a conference series at the University of Texas at Tyler, opening on Friday, March 13th at 5 p.m. in Tyler. The series will continue on Saturday, March 14th .