HPU softball drops three to No. 13 East Texas Baptist

Derrick Stuckly dstuckly@brownwoodbulletin.com
HPU left fielder Kiley Person (2) corrals a fly ball for an out during Friday's doubleheader against East Texas Baptist. [Photo by Derrick Stuckly]

The Howard Payne Lady Jackets pushed the No. 13 East Texas Baptist Lady Tigers to 10 innings in the finale of their opening American Southwest Conference softball series Saturday, but were unable to avoid a weekend sweep.

East Texas Baptist escaped with a 1-0 victory Saturday after cruising past Howard Payne, 12-0 and 15-5, in doubleheader action Friday.

In Saturday's contest, HPU (3-4, 0-3) pitcher Tia Campos yielded just one run on four hits with two strikeouts over 10 innings. ETBU (7-0, 3-0) was able to scratch across a run in 10th as Sarah Cedillo started on second base due to the international tiebreaker rule, moved to third on a sacrifice by Beatriz Lara, and scored on a wild pitch.

In HPU's half of the 10th, Tonya Thompson started on second, then Alexis Sullivan reached on a single. With one out, Kayla Anderson was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Lara — the ETBU pitcher — struck out Olivia Rivera and Ragen Noriega to secure the win for ETBU.

Lara, like Campos, also went the distance in the circle and yielded just two hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk.

Sullivan and Anderson tallied HPU's hits.

The Lady Jackets fell by a 15-5 count in Friday's second game of a doubleheader. Knotted at 3 after three innings, ETBU seized control with seven runs in the top of the fourth. The Lady Jackets closed the gap to 10-5 after four innings, but the Lady Tigers tacked on five more runs in the fifth to enforce the mercy rule.

ETBU chalked up 12 hits against HPU pitchers Hannah Morales, Rivera, Anndi Cortez and Bree Cason, who combined to walk three and fan two.

Daniella Solis homered three times and drove in five runs to spark the ETBU offense, while Cedillo finished with three singles and a trio of RBI. Emily Deramus added one hit and two RBI, Regina Garza tallied two singles and drove in a run, and Early graduate Sydnee Shea also chipped in a base hit.

The Howard Payne offense produced six hits — a double from Aurora Luera and singles from Kiley Person, Tonya Thompson, Alexis Sullivan, Tori Muro and Emily Martinez. Person, Thompson, Sullivan, Kayla Hill and Alexandra Martinez contributed RBI.

The Lady Jackets dropped the series opener to ETBU by a 12-0 count Friday.

ETBU tallied one run in the first inning, two in the second, six in the third, and three more runs in the fifth.

The Lady Tigers finished with 10 hits, four walks and HPU committed a pair of errors. Solis led the way with two hits and two RBI, while Garza and Lara drove in two and added one hit apiece.

In the circle, Lara tossed a three-hit shutout with seven strikeouts and five walks.

Howard Payne's three hits — all singles – came from Person, Luera and Sullivan. Drawing walks were Hill, with two, along with Luera, Anderson, and Melinda Mendoza.

In the circle for Howard Payne, Campos gave up four runs on one hit with two walks in two innings, while Zalayna Perez yielded eight runs on nine hits with two walks over three innings.

The Lady Jackets host Schreiner in a noon non-conference doubleheader Tuesday, then visit LeTourneau for a three-game ASC set Friday and Saturday. Friday's doubleheader begins at 3 p.m. with the series finale to start at noon Saturday.