Lady Jackets fall to 5-21 overall, 3-18 in conference action

The trying times for the Howard Payne Lady Jackets softball program continued over the weekend.

The Lady Jackets dropped their seventh American Southwest Conference series in as many outings, suffered their second straight three-game series sweep and witnessed their losing streak reach eight games at the hands of Hardin-Simmons Cowgirls.

Hardin-Simmons swept Friday’s doubleheader, 6-2 and 4-0, at Lady Jackets Field, then tallied a 5-2 win in Saturday’s series finale.

In the 6-2 opening loss, Howard Payne (5-21, 3-18) witnessed Hardin-Simmons (12-13, 9-12) snap a 2-all tie with three runs in the top of the fifth inning, then add an insurance run in the seventh.

The Cowgirls finished with 13 hits off the Lady Jacket pitching combination of Tonya Thompson and Audrey Simpson, who walked three and struck out one.

Breanna Greer finished with two doubles and a pair of RBIs, Braleigh Middleton added two hits and an RBI and Lauren Williams and Ashley Brown each drove in one with one hit to spark Hardin-Simmons.

Genia Jones notched the win in the circle for Hardin-Simmons, tossing six innings of one-run, three-hit ball with five strikeouts and a pair of walks.

Simpson and Tayler Rushing finished with two hits each while Gabrielle Roque added the fifth for the Lady Jackets. Rushing and Roque drove in runs.

In the 4-0 loss, the Lady Jackets yielded single runs in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings.

Lexie Allen tossed a complete-game shutout for Hardin-Simmons, scattering eight hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.

Madison Witherwax took the loss for HPU, surrendering two runs on three hits and three walks over three innings.

Greer led the way for the Hardin-Simmons offense with three hits and one RBI, while Christa Garcia finished with two RBIs on one hit.

Rachel Hitt, Haley Slater and Kodi Glosson each contributed two singles for HPU while Simpson and Thompson tacked on one single apiece.

In Saturday’s 5-2 defeat, the Lady Jackets scored twice in their final at-bat, but the Cowgirls opened a 5-0 edge with a four-spot in the third inning.

HPU’s nine hits were a weekend-best as Tiffany Hinkleman tallied two, including a double, while Kayla Boucher launched a solo home run, Thompson chipped in an RBI single and Simpson, Rushing, Hitt, Roque and Glosson also singled.

Simpson took the loss, allowing five runs on five hits with one walk in 2.1 innings. Madison Sims pitched the final 4.2 innings and surrendered three hits, walked two, struck out four and did not give up a run.

Jones tallied the win for Hardin-Simmons, working three innings of scoreless ball with three hits allowed.

Offensive standouts for the Cowgirls were Garcia with a home run and three RBIs, while Williams, Kirsten Kanyon, Katelyn Joyner and M.J. Ledkins all doubled.

The Lady Jackets will be seeking their first victory since March 10 when they visit UT-Dallas Friday and Saturday for another three-game ASC set.