The Howard Payne Lady Jackets earned their first American Southwest Conference softball series victory of the season over the weekend, thanks to sweeping a Friday doubleheader from the UT-Dallas Lady Comets.
Howard Payne pummeled UT-Dallas, 9-1, in the opener and answered with a 2-1 triumph in the nightcap.
In the Game 1 win, the Lady Jackets broke a 1-all tie with five runs in the bottom of the third inning. HPU tacked on two more runs in the fourth and enforced the eight-run mercy rule by scoring once more in the sixth inning.
Howard Payne (5-10, 2-7) finished with seven hits, drew four walks and took advantage of three UT-Dallas (5-12, 3-6) errors.
Alexis Sullivan collected three hits and two RBI, Olivera Rivera, Kayla Anderson, and Tori Muro contributed one hit and two RBI apiece, and Aurora Luera also chipped in a single.
HPU's five-run third inning saw Kiley Person reach on a one-out error followed by a single from Sullivan and one of three walks issued to Kayla Hill, which loaded the bases. Rivera then doubled to center field to plate Person and Sullivan for a 3-1 Lady Jacket lead. Anderson then delivered a two-RBI single that brought home Rivera and Hill. With two outs in the inning, Muro reached on an error that allowed Anderson to score.
The Lady Jackets stretched the lead to 8-1 in the fourth as Person reached on another miscue and scored on Sullivan's RBI single to left field. Sullivan later scored on a passed ball.
HPU's final run in the sixth inning was the result of a Luera single and steal of second base, followed by Sullivan's RBI single through the right side.
The first run of the contest for Howard Payne, back in the second inning, was the result of a two-out RBI single to center field by Muro, which plated Melinda Mendoza, running for Hill who began the frame with a walk.
In the circle, Tia Campos went the distance for HPU, allowing only a first-inning run on four hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.
In the Game 2 victory, HPU trailed 1-0 going to the fourth inning where it tied the contest, then scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth.
Sullivan singled with one out in the sixth and Hill followed with a base hit of her own. With two down, Anderson reached on a fielding error by the shortstop that allowed Brianna Lopez, running for Hill, to come home.
The Lady Jackets' tying run in the fourth was the result of a leadoff double by Person, a sacrifice by Sullivan, and an RBI sacrifice fly from Hill.
Howard Payne tallied just five hits — two by Person and one apiece by Hill, Sullivan and Anderson.
In the circle, Hannah Morales, Zalayna Perez and Bree Cason combined to surrender just one run on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Cason, who pitched 4.2 innings, notched the win.
In Saturday's series finale, UT-Dallas avoided the sweep with a 5-2 triumph.
Howard Payne led 2-0 until the top of fifth inning where the Lady Comets struck four four runs. UT-Dallas tacked on an insurance run in the seventh.
The Lady Jackets were held to hits — two each by Luera and Muro and one apiece by Sullivan and Person.
Sullivan's RBI ground in the first scored Luera, who led off with a single, and Luera's RBI single up the middle in the second brought home Muro, who singled with one out.
In the circle, Campos went the distance for HPU and gave up five runs — two earned — on seven hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks.
The Lady Jackets are back in action at noon Tuesday as they host Huston Tillotson in a non-conference doubleheader.