The Austin College softball team needed to split their doubleheader with Hendrix College on Sunday to clinch a spot in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, and after falling 4-2 in game one the 'Roos got a dramatic 5-4 walk-off victory in game two to lock up the No. 3-seed in the SCAC West Division. The 'Roos are now 13-27 overall and 7-9 in conference play.
In game one the Warriors jumped on top 1-0 in the second before the 'Roos answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning, but a two run single by Brittiny Casteen in the fifth put Hendrix on top 3-1. Suzanne Beltran drove in a run in the bottom half of the inning to cut it to 3-2, but Hendrix would add another run and the 'Roos would be unable to answer in the 4-2 loss.
Amber Pemberton went the distance on the mound, giving up four runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and five walks to take the loss. Six players had a hit apiece, and Beltran and Jenny Dowsey each drove in a run to lead the 'Roos offensively.
In game two the Warriors got a solo homer from Ashley Halbert to take a first inning lead, but a two run single by Heather Farquhar made it 2-1 after one, and that would remain the score until the third when Halbert and Paula Burr each drove in a run to put Hendrix on top 3-2. Mallory Rossman answered with an RBI double for the 'Roos to bring things square at 3-3.
Halbert belted her second homer of the game to lead off the fifth inning and give Hendrix a one run lead, but once again the 'Roos fought back with Farquhar ripping an RBI single to tie things up again at 4-4 after five, and that's how it would remain heading into the seventh.
The Warriors were threatening with a runner on third base and only one out, but Briana Slawson made the defensive play of the year for the 'Roos when she caught a fly ball in right and threw a laser to get Morgan Fires at the plate to preserve the tie and end the top of the seventh. Slawson led off the bottom half of the inning with a base hit, and after being moved around to third, came home to score the winning run on a sacrifice fly to deep center by Farquhar.
Farquhar went 2-for-2 with four RBI and Jessica Baker went 2-for-3 with two runs scored to lead the 'Roos offensively, while Pemberton picked up the win in relief, pitching 1.0 scoreless inning with a strikeout and a walk. Halbert had a huge day at the plate for Hendrix, going 3-for-3 with two homers and three RBI.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
About Austin College
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges that Change Lives.