GEORGETOWN — The Howard Payne Lady Jackets slipped below the .500 mark for the season after dropping a non-conference softball doubleheader, 4-2 and 4-3, at Southwestern Friday.
The Lady Jackets (13-14) did not score until their final at-bat in the opener against Southwestern (20-8), while the nightcap saw HPU’s rally fall short in the seventh inning after giving up the go-ahead runs in the bottom of the sixth.
In the second game, HPU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single by Tylene Middleton that plated Katie Poerner.
Southwestern tallied single runs in the second and third innings before the Lady Jackets drew even at 2 in the top of the fifth as Evangelina Tellez singled home Poerner.
Southwestern claimed a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth on an error — one of four committed by HPU — and an RBI single.
In the seventh, Poerner doubled with one out and Tellez followed with a walk. With two outs, Haleigh Caraway came through with an RBI single, but Southwestern retired the next batter to escape with the win.
The Lady Jackets finished with eight hits, led by three from Poerner — who also scored three runs — two each from Middleton and Caraway and one from Tellez.
Caraway tossed all six innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits with one strikeout and two walks.
In Friday’s opener, HPU collected 10 hits but did not push a run over the plate until the seventh inning.
Southwestern, which finished with 13 hits against Keeley Lowrance — who struck out three and walked one — scored once in the first and fifth innings and twice in the fourth.
Carissa Zarate homered to center field to lead off the seventh inning for HPU, while Gober singled home Middleton, who doubled with two outs.
Gober and Caraway finished with three hits apiece for the Lady Jackets, followed by two from Zarate and one apiece from Poerner and Middleton.
Howard Payne will return to action April 5-6 when it visits Texas Lutheran for a four-game ASC West weekend series.