With one contest remaining in their three-game ASC set with Sul Ross, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets have already clinched their second series victory in the last three.
Howard Payne swept a doubleheader from Sul Ross, 8-0 and 8-0, Friday, the most dominant performances of the season thus far for the Lady Jackets.
HPU, which has won four of its last eight, needed only 4 1/2 innings to blank Sul Ross in the opener.
Tayler Rushing and Morgan Ashmore combined to toss a one-hitter, yielding only a two-out single in the top of the fourth by Shelby Doerherlein. Rushing struck out two in four innings, while Ashmore recorded a strikeout in one inning of work.
Offensively, Howard Payne finished with seven hits and chalked up two runs in the second inning and three each in the third and fourth frames.
Rushing and Erin McLeod led HPU with a pair of hits trailed by one each from Jessica Morales, Pricilla Patino, Cherita George, Adrienne Sanchez and Shandi Winstead.
During the second inning, George reached on a one-out error then scored on an RBI triple to center field by Rushing. Sanchez followed with an RBI single up the middle.
Howard Payne extended its lead to 5-0 in the third as Morales led off with a single and came home on Patino’s RBI double down the left field line. McLeod then singled ahead of an RBI base hit to left field by George, which plated Patino. Rushing followed with an RBI single that scored Kodi Glosson, running for Patino.
The Lady Jackets tacked on their final three runs in the fourth as Winstead doubled to center field to start the inning, then Beth Mullins reached on an fielder’s choice as Mikenzie Rodriguez, running for Winstead, beat the throw to third base. Rodriquez later scored on an errant pickoff attempt at third base, while McLeod singled home Larisa Salazar, who was running for Mullins.
During the nightcap, the Lady Jackets chalked up 10 hits and scored two runs each in the second and third innings, three in the fourth and their final run in the bottom of the fifth.
As was the case in the opener, Rushing and Ashmore combined to pitch a shutout, allowing two hits with two walks. Rushing worked the first five innings and Ashmore tossed a perfect fifth.
At the plate, McLeod, Rushing and George finished with two hits apiece while Gober, Salazar, Winstead and Glosson contributed one each.
In the two-run second, McLeod led off with a single to right field, then George reached via an error. Winstead later delivered a two-RBI single to center field to plate McLeod and George.
The third inning saw Patino walk ahead of George’s RBI single to center that scored Tiffani San Miguel, running for Patino. Salazar’s RBI single to left-center brought home George.
In the fourth, McLeod singled home Gober, who walked; George singled in Patino, who reached on a fielder’s choice; and Rushing’s RBI single knocked in Rodriquez, running for McLeod.
In HPU’s fifth inning, Glosson led off with a single and Gober ended the game with a one-out RBI triple.
Howard Payne (6-24, 5-21) and Sul Ross (3-28, 3-23) will meet in the series finale at 11 a.m. today at Lady Jacket Field.