The Howard Payne Lady Jackets notched their first home victory since March 10 as they split a Friday doubleheader with LeTourneau to open their final American Southwest Conference softball series of the season.
After a 12-4 loss in the opener, the Lady Jackets rebounded with a 6-5 walk-off win in the nightcap. Howard Payne can clinch its first ASC series victory of the season with a victory in today’s noon season finale.
In Friday’s win, HPU (7-30, 5-24) opened a 4-0 lead before LeTourneau (14-25, 9-20) drew even at 5 in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Sabrina Ochoa led off with a double to left field and scored the winning run on Audrey Simpson’s two-out RBI single to center field.
Ochoa and Simpson both finished 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Kayla Boucher launched a three-run home run. Haley Slater contributed a 2-for-3, one-RBI effort at the plate, while Madison Sims singled and knocked in a run.
In the circle, Tayler Rushing was the winning pitcher as she gave up three runs on four hits and four walks in 4.1 innings. Tonya Thompson pitched two-thirds of an inning and allowed one run on two walks, while Madison Witherwax tossed two innings and surrendered one run on two hits with one walk.
In the opening loss, the Lady Jackets were in front 3-0 after two innings, then yielded 12 runs over the final four frames.
Witherwax took the loss, surrendering seven runs on 11 hits with one strikeout over five innings.
Rushing finished 4-for-4 at the plate with a triple, double and one RBI. Sims, Ochoa and Rachel Hitt contributed one hit and one RBI apiece, while Kodi Glosson also singled.