After opening their season with a doubleheader sweep of Jarvis Christian College on Feb. 5, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets dropped two home games to the McPherson College Bulldogs Wednesday afternoon.
Originally slated to play a twinbill at Huston-Tillotson Tuesday, those games were cancelled and McPherson was a late addition to the schedule, coming to town and snatching victories of 4-0 and 3-1 from the Lady Jackets.
In the opening shutout defeat, Howard Payne (2-2) committed four errors and tallied just four hits off McPherson (2-3) pitcher Christie Betker, who struck out 13 batters and walked only one.
The Lady Jackets received singles from right fielder Alexis Sullivan, catcher Kayla Hill, designated hitter Emily Martinez, and third baseman Kayla Anderson.
In the circle, Tia Campos worked six innings, allowing two runs – none earned — on six hits with with three strikeouts and one walk. Gabrielle Roque tossed one inning and yielded two runs – one earned – on two hits with one strikeout.
McPherson scored once in the second inning, once in the sixth and tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh.
In the second game, the Lady Jackets again were limited to four hits with Hill launching a solo home run to start the bottom of the second inning. Sullivan, Martinez and Anderson again contributed singles in the nightcap.
Hannah Stuart pitched 3.1 innings for HPU and gave up two runs on three hits with a pair of strikeouts and three walks. Audrey Simpson worked the final 3.2 innings and surrendered one run on three hits with a strikeout.
Sydney Lang went the distance for McPherson, allowing one run on four hits with four strikeouts.
Katy Wilson homered in the second inning for McPherson, while Jessica Jones added an RBI single to left field later in the frame that plated Kylecia Taylor with the decisive run.
Howard Payne begins American Southwest Conference action this weekend with three games at Belhaven — a 1 p.m. Friday doubleheader followed by Saturday's 11 a.m. series finale.