The Howard Payne Lady Jackets were able to secure one victory in three outings against American Southwest Conference rival Louisiana College, handing the Lady Cats their first loss of the season while HPU kept both its regular season and league marks at .500.
The Lady Jackets picked up a 7-1 victory in the second game of a Friday doubleheader, while Louisiana College notched wins of 6-1 and 12-5 in the series opener and finale.
In Howard Payne’s win, the Lady Jackets (5-5, 3-3) scored in all but one inning. HPU pushed across single runs in the first, second and sixth innings, while scoring twice in both the fourth and fifth.
The Lady Jackets generated 13 hits — three by shortstop Aurora Luera, two each by center fielder Tonya Thompson, right fielder Alexis Sullivan and first baseman Emily Martinez, and one apiece by catcher Kayla Hill, second baseman Ragen Noriega, designated hitter Haley Slater and third baseman Kayla Anderson. Sullivan and Anderson finished with two RBIs apiece while Luera, Thompson and Slater each added one.
In the circle, Audrey Simpson went the distance and yielded one unearned run on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk. Defensively, the Lady Jackets committed two errors.
HPU’s run in the first inning scored when Sullivan bunted home Luera, who singled up the middle to start the frame. In the second inning, Anderson’s RBI ground out plated Martinez, who led off with a single to center field.
The two-run fourth featured an Anderson lead off double, followed by a one-out RBI single to right field by Luera. Later on, Sullivan singled up the middle to drive in Thompson, who doubled.
In the fifth, Slater’s RBI ground out scored Madison Love, running for Martinez after an infield single. Later, Anderson’s RBI ground out scored Noriega, who reached on an error.
HPU’s final run in the sixth was the result of a Thompson RBI infield single that plated Luera, who led off the frame with a base hit.
In the 6-1 opening loss, the Lady Jackets finished with five hits — two each by Luera and Thompson and Noriega’s RBI double in the sixth that scored Sullivan, who walked three times, to prevent a shutout.
Tia Campos and Gabrielle Roque allowed a combined three earned runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
In Saturday’s series finale, HPU spotted Louisiana College (6-1, 2-1) a 10-run lead before the offense came to life in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Simpson, Roque, Campos and Hannah Stuart gave up 10 earned runs on 18 hits with five walks and four strikeouts.
Offensively, the Lady Jackets produced 11 hits — two, including a home run, from Sullivan, who drove in three; two each from Luera, Thompson and Slater, who added an RBI; and one apiece by Hill, who knocked in a run, along with Noriega and Love.
The Lady Jackets will face ASC rival Sul Ross in a 2 p.m. Wednesday non-conference doubleheader at Abilene Christian University.