No. 18 Louisiana College captures first two games against Lady Jackets, 7-0, 7-3

Derrick Stuckly Brownwood Bulletin
HPU shortstop Kodi Glosson (6) tags out Louisiana College’s Heather Simmons (22) attempting to steal second base in the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader.

Facing one of the elite softball programs in the American Southwest Conference, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets dropped the first two of three games against No. 18 Louisiana College, 7-0 and 7-3, in a Thursday afternoon doubleheader.

Howard Payne (8-19, 4-15), which has suffered four losses in two days after being swept by St. Catherine University out of Minnesota in non-conference action Wednesday, will attempt to salvage the series finale against Louisiana College (19-5, 14-2) at 1 p.m. today.

In Thursday’s 7-0 loss, the Lady Jackets were limited to a pair of hits by LC hurler Sevannah Settle, who struck out five and walked two.

Erin McLeod singled and drew a walk for HPU, while Amanda Cruddas also singled and Gaby Muniz earned a base on balls.

The Lady Jacket pitching combination of Celese Tirres and Tayler Rushing combined to yield five earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and three walks.

Jordan Mason paced Louisiana College with three hits, including a home run, and three RBIs, while Courtney Ivey also added three hits and a trio of RBIs. Regan LeJeune chipped in one hit and one RBI while Emorie Nugent, Laura Gulota-Parrish, Jayde Westbrook, Heather Scully and Ellen Bairnsfather contributed hits as well.

In the 7-3 setback, HPU surrendered the first three runs before striking for its first run of the series in the bottom of the second inning. LC tacked on four more runs in the top of the fifth, while the Lady Jackets chalked up single runs in the fifth and seventh.

HPU racked up eight hits, including two by Shandi Winstead, who also added a pair of RBIs. McLeod and Rushing also finished with two hits each while Muniz and Kodi Glosson added the other hits.

In the circle, Rushing gave up four earned runs on eight hits with one walk in four innings, while Tirres surrendered three earned runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts in three innings of work.

Taylor Leger went the distance for Louisiana College, tossing seven innings of eight-hit ball with one strikeout and three walks.

Mattie Stine finished with two hits and two RBIs for LC, Katie Hines doubled home a pair of runs, Westbrook and Ivey chipped in two hits each and Scully contributed three hits and one RBI.

HPU’s run in the second inning scored with one out as Rushing singled home Winstead, who led off with a walk and advanced to second base on a wild pitch.

In the fifth inning, McLeod singled with two outs and moved to second base on a wild pitch before scoring on an RBI single by Winstead.

The Lady Jackets wrapped up their scoring in the seventh as Muniz singled with two outs and, following a base hit by McLeod, Winstead plated Muniz with a single.