The Howard Payne Lady Jackets dropped a pair of games to American Southwest Conference rival LeTourneau Saturday, 4-0 and 4-1, but only one defeat counted in the conference standings.
For the weekend, HPU posted a 1-3 mark, but the ASC is adopting a three-game series format this season, therefore the first three games counted toward the conference standings while the fourth served as a way to fill the schedule.
The Lady Jackets (2-5, 1-2) split Friday’s first two games against LeTourneau (5-1, 2-1) — both of which counted in the ASC standings — winning 4-2 and losing 3-0.
In Saturday’s action, LeTourneau limited Howard Payne to eight hits in the two games combined.
Howard Payne was blanked in the opener as LeTourneau’s Taylor Thibodeaux tossed a three-hitter with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Collecting hits for the Lady Jackets were Amanda Gober, Pricilla Patino and Erin McLeod, while Patino, Amanda Cruddas, Jessica Morales and Shandi Winstead drew walks.
ASC pitcher of the week Tayler Rushing gave up three earned runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and three walks for Howard Payne.
LeTourneau scored twice in the third inning on an RBI fielder’s choice and a wild pitch, and added two more runs in the sixth on an error and an RBI ground out.
Megan Hill and Anna Winter finished with two hits each for LeTourneau followed by one apiece from Taylor Kaderli, Halle Pryor, Courtney Matulis and Ashley Hickerson. Winter, Hickerson and Whitney Judd earned RBIs.
In the nightcap, LeTourneau struck for all four of its runs in the top of the first against Adrienne Sanchez, who tossed a complete game and gave up two earned runs on eight hits with one strikeout and three walks.
Howard Payne tallied its only run of the day in the bottom of the sixth inning on an RBI single by Patino that knocked in Morales.
Kelly Parton picked up the win in the circle for LeTourneau as she yielded one run on five hits over six innings with five strikeouts and two walks. Matulis got the save, striking out one in one inning of work.
Patino recorded two hits for HPU followed by one from Morales, Winstead and Mailey Miller. Morales and Sanchez drew walks.
The Lady Jackets return to action Friday at Mary Hardin-Baylor, beginning a traditional three-game set that Howard Payne will experience the rest of the season. On Saturday, the Lady Jackets and Lady Cru will play a doubleheader to complete the series.