Facing their second preseason nationally-ranked American Southwest Conference foe in as many weekends of league play, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets were the victims of another sweep at the hands of the UT-Dallas Lady Comets.
Howard Payne dropped both games of Friday’s doubleheader, 4-3 and 5-0, and followed with a 6-4 defeat Saturday.
The series opener saw UT-Dallas (3-2, 3-0) grab a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning, with Howard Payne (3-11-2, 0-6) fighting back to draw even in the bottom of the fourth. The Lady Comets immediately answered with two more runs in the top of the fifth, while the Lady Jackets could muster just one more in the bottom of the fifth.
HPU’s fourth inning featured a leadoff single by Tonya Thompson, then Katelyn Dickerson reached on an error and Kayla Boucher walked to load the bases. With one out, Shawneece Jones singled up the middle to plate Thompson, then Gabrielle Roque’s RBI ground drove in Dickerson.
The fifth-inning run for HPU was the result of an RBI singled to left field by Dickerson, which plated Audrey Simpson who began the inning with a single into right field.
Thompson led Howard Payne’s six-hit attack with a pair while Dickerson, Jones, Roque, Simpson and Morgean Schultz added one apiece.
In the circle, Simpson tossed five innings and surrendered four runs on 10 hits with a strikeout and a walk. Kendra Evans worked two innings and gave up just a pair of hits.
In Friday’s second game, UT-Dallas scored all its runs in the top of the fourth inning.
Tia Campos worked 3.2 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Evans yielded just one hit and one walk with a strikeout in 2.1 innings. Roque also pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one walk with one strikeout.
Offensively, HPU tallied just three hits — singles by Thompson, Dickerson and Simpson.
In the series finale, the score was even at 1 after one inning, but UT-Dallas added two runs each in the second and fourth frames. The Lady Jackets closed the gap to one run with a three-run bottom of the fifth, but UT-Dallas tacked on insurance run in the seventh.
HPU recorded seven hits — three by Dickerson, two by Boucher who drove in three, and one apiece by Schultz and Thompson.
Simpson pitched 3.2 innings, yielding five runs — two earned — on eight hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts. Evans worked 1.1 innings and surrendered one hit, while Campos tossed two innings and gave up one run on three hits.
HPU’s run in the first scored when Jones drew a bases-loaded walk, which scored Schultz, who also drew a walk to start the game.
In the three-run fifth, Schultz, Thompson and Dickerson singled in succession to start the frame, then Boucher cleared the bases with a double to right-center field.
The Lady Jackets will be back in action Friday and Saturday at the University of the Ozarks.