The Howard Payne Lady Jackets began the 2019 softball campaign with a pair of home victories over Jarvis Christian College, 8-0 and 3-1, Tuesday afternoon.
The Lady Jackets collected a run-rule victory in the opener, scoring once in the bottom of the third inning, three times in the third, while adding two runs apiece in the fifth and sixth frames.
Howard Payne finished with nine hits – all from the top four batters in the lineup. Shortstop Aurora Luera was 3 for 4 with four runs scored and an RBI, center fielder Tonya Thompson went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored, right fielder Alexis Sullivan was 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored, and catcher Kayla Hill finished 2 for 2 with a two-run home run and four RBIs.
In the circle, Tia Campos picked up the win after working four scoreless innings with one hit allowed, two strikeouts and a walk. Gabrielle Roque pitched 1.2 innings and gave up a hit, walked three and fanned two. Audrey Simpson also recorded an out in the circle.
In the nightcap, the Lady Jackets generated just two hits but were able to make that stand in a two-run victory.
Howard Payne opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning as Luera led off with an infield single to shortstop and scored on Sullivan’s RBI sacrifice fly.
The Lady Jackets extended the advantage to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth as Thompson led off with a double to right-center field, then Sullivan reached on a throwing error that moved Thompson to third. Hill walked to load the bases, and Haley Slater’s RBI fielder’s choice plated Thompson. Daniella Flores followed with another RBI fielder’s choice that knocked in Sullivan.
In the circle, Simpson tossed 6.2 innings to collect the victory, allowing one earned run on five hits with five strikeouts and one walk. Hannah Stuart recorded the 21st out for Howard Payne.
Jarvis Christian’ lone run in the sixth inning scored when Chelsie Olvera doubled with out out, and Naomi Mata followed with a two-out RBI double.
The Lady Jackets (2-0) return to action Feb. 12 with a noon doubleheader at Huston-Tillotson.