BELTON — The Howard Payne Lady Jackets suffered their second American Southwest Conference softball series loss in as many weekends, dropping two of three games to Mary Hardin-Baylor Friday and Saturday.
HPU and UMHB split Friday’s doubleheader, with the Lady Jackets taking the first game, 7-4, but falling in the second by a 12-0 count in five innings. In Saturday’s finale, UMHB collected another five-inning victory, 8-0.
In the Lady Jackets’ Friday victory, HPU rallied late by scoring five runs in the sixth inning to overcome a 4-2 deficit. After Tayler Rushing scored on a wild pitch, Kayla Boucher hit a grand slam to give the Lady Jackets advantage in the sixth.
Howard Payne scored twice in the third inning as an error by the UMHB third basemen allowed Rachel Hitt and Tonya Thompson to score.
Gabrielle Roque finished 2-for-3 at the plate and Boucher had four RBIs with the grand slam.
In the circle, Madison Witherwax recorded the win in relief throwing four innings, allowing no runs on just one hit and striking out three. Audrey Simpson went three innings in the start, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out one.
In Friday’s loss, UMHB scored multiple runs in the second, third and fourth innings as the Lady Crusaders outhit the Lady Jackets 15-4 in the game.
Saturday’s series finale featured only three hits by Howard Payne from Simpson, Kodi Glosson and Kyra Chapa.
Thompson pitched four innings of relief and gave up four earned runs, while started Witherwax and took the loss.
UMHB (9-2, 4-2) was able to score four runs in the first inning, then added one more run in the bottom of the second to take an early 5-0 lead.
The Lady Jackets (4-7, 2-4) return to action Friday and Saturday as they host Louisiana College.