SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College softball team split its home opening doubleheader against Howard Payne University on Friday afternoon, falling 12-4 in game one before bouncing back with an 8-5 victory in game two. The ‘Roos are now 1-3 overall this season following today’s split.
Austin College jumped out to a 4-0 lead in game one, as Madison Mahaffey plated a run to get things started in the second inning and Beth Massey added a three-run homer that same inning. However, the Yellow Jackets responded back with four runs in the top of the third and erupted for six in the fourth to go ahead 10-4.
HPU’s Kayla Boucher hit a grand slam as part of that six run fourth inning, and the following inning the Jackets would plate two more runs to go on top 12-4, and that’s how things would end. Alyssa McDowell took the loss, surrendering five runs on five hits in 3.2 innings of work, while Audrey Simpson earned the win in relief for Howard Payne.
Lauren Mara and Felicia Rivera each went 3-for-3, and Courtney Gonzales went 2-for-3 for Austin College. Massey finished 1-for-3. Boucher went 2-for-4 with five RBI to pace the Yellow Jackets.
In game two, Massey got the scoring started early with an RBI single in the bottom of the first and Rivera added a run-scoring hit of her own to make it 2-0 after one. Howard Payne scored in the top of the second to cut the margin in half, but Adrianna Vasquez homered to lead off the bottom of the second and Kat Wright doubled home two runs to put the ‘Roos ahead 5-1.
That’s how things would stand until the fifth, when two runs came across for the Jackets to trim it to a two-run game. Mahaffey and Mara each knocked in a run in the bottom of the inning to push the lead to 7-3. Howard Payne got one run back in the top of the sixth, but in the bottom half of the inning the ‘Roos got an RBI single from Gonzales to give Austin College an 8-4 lead.
Howard Payne tacked on one more run in the seventh, but McDowell managed to shut the door on the Jackets to earn the complete game victory. McDowell yielded five runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts, while Tia Campos took the loss for HPU after giving up three runs on four hits in just over an inning of work to start the game.
Wright went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI to lead the ‘Roos at the plate, while Massey, Gonzales, and Marisa Duke each had two hits. Katelyn Dickerson went 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead Howard Payne.
Austin College is back in action tomorrow when they host Hendrix College for a doubleheader beginning at noon at Old Settlers Park.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.