MARSHALL – Trailing 2-1 heading into the final inning, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets surrendered six runs in the top of the seventh as the UT-Dallas Lady Comets chalked up an 8-1 victory Thursday to open American Southwest Conference softball tournament action.
The loss ended the season for Howard Payne (17-22), the sixth seed in the eight-team tournament, which was making its first postseason appearance since 2013.
The Lady Jackets finished with four hits — a double by Aurora Luera and singles by Tonya Thompson, Ragen Noriega and Melinda Mendoza — and scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning.
Luera doubled off UT-Dallas pitcher BriAnna Young to begin the bottom of the first, Thompson sacrificed Luera to third, and Sullivan reached on an error that allowed Luera to come home.
Seventh-seeded UT-Dallas (17-20) generated 13 hits — including a pair of home runs — off the Howard Payne pitching combination of Tia Campos and Audrey Simpson. Campos recorded all but one out, giving up seven earned runs on 12 hits with three strikeouts and no walks. Simpson gave up a solo home run before retiring her lone batter.
Jessica Vlasek hit a two-run home run in the first inning for UT-Dallas, which was all the offense it needed, and added a two-RBI single in the seventh. Amber Williams led the Lady Comets with three hits and a pair of RBI, with a home run in the seventh.