Alexis Sullivan's third home run in two days capped a four-run bottom of the seventh inning, walk-off win and crucial American Southwest Conference series victory for the Howard Payne Lady Jackets over the McMurry War Hawks Friday.
Down two runs heading into their final at-bat, the Lady Jackets emerged with a 7-5 victory over McMurry. In the battle for the eighth and final berth into the ASC tournament, Howard Payne (15-20, 11-13) opened a three-game lead over McMurry (13-22, 8-16) with three games left — and owns the tie breaker.
The Lady Jackets' seventh inning against McMurry started with HPU in a 5-3 hole, but Brianna Luna, led off with a single to right field and Melinda Mendoza followed with an RBI triple that scored Amy Perez, running for Luna. With one out, Thompson's RBI single to right-center field plated Mendoza with the tying. Sullivan then launched the game-winning walk off, two-run blast, giving her a home run in each game of the series.
The Lady Jackets jumped in front 1-0 in the bottom of the third as Ragen Noriega led off with a single and scored on Aurora Luera's double to center field.
McMurry answered with four runs in the top of the fourth to grab a 4-1 advantage. With one out, Mikayla Krause, Kasey Woolard and Kamwren Jackson singled in succession to produce the first run. Reyna Garcia followed with an RBI ground out, then Sydney King doubled home a run and Summer Quiroga followed with an RBI single.
The Lady Jackets got two runs back in the bottom of the frame, shaving the deficit to 4-3, as Haley Slater doubled with one out and Emily Martinez followed with a two-out, two-run homer.
The War Hawks tacked on their fifth and final run in the fifth inning when Ashley McClellan reached on a two-out error that allowed Rachel Ripley, who led off with a single, to score.
Tia Campos, Gabrielle Roque and Audrey Simpson combined to give up one earned run — as the Lady Jacket defense committed five errors — on eight hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
Offensively, Howard Payne generated 10 hits — two each by Thompson and Mendoza and one apiece from Luera, Sullivan, Slater, Martinez and Noriega.