The Howard Payne Lady Jackets are in position to win their third American Southwest Conference softball series in four weekends after splitting Friday's home doubleheader with the McMurry Lady War Hawks.
Howard Payne notched a 7-5 victory in the opener, but McMurry rallied for a 10-2, six-inning victory in the nightcap. Game 3 of the series, originally slated for Saturday, has been rescheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday due to inclement weather.
In Friday's opener, Howard Payne (8-20-2, 5-15) broke a 5-all tie with McMurry (9-21, 5-15) in the bottom of the fifth inning. Audrey Simpson reached on a bunt single to start the inning, then scored on Bri Davis' RBI sacrifice fly to center field.
HPU tacked on an insurance run in the sixth as Shawneece Jones led off with a triple to center field and scored on Tonya Thompson's RBI sac bunt.
The Lady Jackets grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Kayla Boucher's RBI single plated Thompson, who reached on a one-out bunt single, while Simpson' two-out RBI single to left field drove home Morgean Schultz, who walked.
McMurry seized a 3-2 lead in the top of the third, but HPU regained a 5-3 advantage in the fourth. Gabrielle Roque walked to start the frame and scored on Kendra Evans' one-out RBI double to left-center field. Jones then singled up the middle, while Schultz delivered a two-out, two-RBI single off the second baseman that allowed both Jones and Evans to score.
McMurry knotted the score at 5 in the top of the fifth with a two-out, two-run home run.
HPU finished with 10 hits — three by Jones, two apiece by Schultz and Simpson and one each by Thompson, Boucher and Evans.
In the circle, Evans tallied the win, allowing five runs — three earned — on seven hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Tia Campos notched the save, giving up two hits in two innings of work.
In the 10-2 loss, HPU trailed 3-1 after one inning and 5-1 after two frames, and could not recover.
Simpson took the loss, yielding five runs — all earned — on six hits with a strikeout and a walk in 1.1 innings. Campos pitched the final 4.2 innings and surrendered five runs — three earned — on nine hits with a strikeout.
Howard Payne tallied just five hits — three by Slater, including a solo home run in the fourth, an RBI single by Schultz in the first and a single by Jones.