A day after the Howard Payne Lady Jackets recorded a pair of run-rule victories, the favor was returned as the Sul Ross Lady Lobos prevented an American Southwest Conference weekend series sweep with a 9-0, five-inning victory in Saturday’s finale.
By virtue of Friday’s two wins, Howard Payne (6-25, 5-22) claimed its second series victory in the last three weeks and moved into sole possession of 10th place in the ASC standings — one game ahead of Sul Ross (4-28, 4-23). With six conference games remaining, the Lady Jackets are five games behind UT-Dallas (17-17, 10-17) for eighth place and the final berth in the ASC tournament.
In Saturday’s outing, Sul Ross pitcher Isaura Rodriguez tossed a complete game three-hitter with three strikeouts and two walks.
After surrendering a total of three hits in 10 innings Friday, Howard Payne needed three pitchers in the finale. Tayler Rushing yielded one run on two hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 3.2 innings; Morgan Ashmore surrendered two runs on four hits with one walk in one inning; and Adrienne Sanchez gave up six runs on five hits with one strikeout and one walk in one-third of an inning.
At the plate for the Lady Jackets, Pricilla Patino doubled down the left field line in the second inning, Shandi Winstead singled to left field to start the third and Erin McLeod recorded a fourth-inning one-out infield single. Rushing and Sanchez also drew walks in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.
The Lady Lobos received two hits apiece from Dayna Whitmire, Shelby Doederlein and Rodriguez, while Whitmire, Doederlein, Jessica Castellano and Amanda Garza contributed two RBIs each. Castellano, Garza, Clarissa Hernandez, Heather Arias and Maile Hoyt also chipped in base hits.
Sul Ross pushed its first run across the plate in the third inning as Doerherlein singled to left center field to score Castellano, who reached on a one-out single.
The Lady Lobos increased their lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning as Whitmire singled home Hernandez, who led off with a base hit up the middle. Castellano followed with a bases-loaded RBI walk to bring home Arias, who also reached on a single.
Sul Ross iced the victory with six runs in the top of the fifth inning. Rodriguez singled home Hernandez, who reached on an error; Whitmire singled home Arias, who drew a walk; and Castellano reached on a error that allowed Rodriguez to cross the plate. Garza then delivered a two-RBI single that scored Castellano and Whitmire, while Doederlein knocked in Garza with a single up the middle.
The Lady Jackets return to action at 2 p.m. Thursday with an ASC doubleheader at Hardin-Simmons (18-14, 15-12). The series finale will take place at noon Friday in Abilene.