RICHARDSON — The Howard Payne Lady Jackets opened their three-game American Southwest Conference softball series at UT-Dallas with a 13-6 loss Thursday. A second game was slated for Thursday but the late finish and no lights resulted in Game 2 being pushed to Friday and a doubleheader that will begin at noon.
The Lady Jackets (6-10, 3-7) suffered their fourth straight league loss after being swept by sixth-ranked and unbeaten East Texas Baptist last weekend.
In a game that featured six home runs — three by each team — UT-Dallas (7-8, 5-7) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a three-run bomb by Jessica Vlasek.
The Lady Jackets trimmed the deficit to 5-4 in the top of the third as Kayla Hill launched a solo home run to center field, then Alexis Sullivan plated Tonya Thompson, who doubled, and Aurora Luera, who singled, with a three-run blast of her own.
UT-Dallas stretched the lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the third, but Howard Payne drew even at 6 in the top of the fourth on Hill’s second home run, a two-run shot to left field that also plated Kayla Anderson, who was hit by a pitch.
In the bottom of the fourth, UT-Dallas regained firm control of the contest with another five-run frame, highlighted by a three-run home run from Amber Williams.
The Lady Comets went on to add single runs in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings, while the Lady Jackets’ offense went cold during its final three trips to the plate.
Howard Payne pitchers Audrey Simpson, Hannah Stuart and Gabrielle Roque combined to allow 12 earned runs on 14 hits with four strikeouts and four walks.
Brianna Young got the win in relief for UT-Dallas, tossing 3.2 innings of scoreless ball with four hits and one walk allowed, to go along with one strikeout.
Hill recorded three of HPU’s nine hits, along with three RBIs, while Thompson and Emily Martinez contributed two hits apiece. Luera and Sullivan, who also added three RBIs, chipped in one hit apiece.
Vlasek and Williams both led UT-Dallas with two hits and four RBIs.