SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College softball team split its home opening doubleheader against Southwestern Assemblies of God, falling 4-1 in game one before pulling out a wild 18-16 victory in game two. The 'Roos are now 1-3 overall, with the game two win marking the first career victory for new head coach Kathleen Laster.
In the first game, SAGU took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second and made it a 3-0 game with a pair of runs in the fifth. The Lions added one more run in the top of the sixth to make it a 4-0 margin before Austin College finally got on the board in the bottom half of the inning on a solo homer by Kat Wright, but that'd be the last run scored in the game.
Tori Herrera took the loss for Austin College, surrendering four runs – three earned – on nine hits with seven strikeouts. Five different players each recorded a hit for Austin College, with Wright finishing 1-for-2 and Raquel Vara going 1-for-4 with a double.
Baylee McBrannon went 2-for-4 with an RBI to pace the Lions, while Rachel Ray went the distance in the circle to earn the win, surrendering one run on five hits with 11 strikeouts.
Game two saw both teams light up the scoreboard early and often, with only one half inning in the game with zero runs scored. SAGU plated a run in the top of the first before Beth Massey led off the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot to make it 1-1 heading into the second, where the Lions would plate a pair. Austin College answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by a 2-run double by Vara.
Southwestern Assemblies got two runs back to square things at 5-5 before Austin College put another run across in the bottom of the third to make it 6-5, but a six run fourth inning gave SAGU an 11-6 lead. Austin College quickly got three of those runs back in the bottom of that same inning, with Wright, Courtney Gonzales, and Emily Low each notching an RBI.
After SAGU failed to score in the top of the fifth, Austin College took advantage with a four run bottom half of the inning, as Vara doubled home two more runs and Wright brought in a pair of runs with a triple to make it 13-11 with the 'Roos on top. The lead was short-lived, as the Lions got four runs of their own in the sixth to take a 15-13 lead.
The seesaw battle continued in the bottom of the sixth, when Austin College would seize the lead for good thanks to a five run effort. Jaylin Clevenger got things started with a run scoring double, and Vara knocked in two more runs as the 'Roos went on top 18-15. SAGU plated an unearned run in the top of the seventh but Herrera closed the door to earn her first save of the season.
Jordan Proctor picked up the victory in relief, allowing four runs on three hits in 2.0 innings of work, while Herrera struck out two batters in the seventh to get the save. Vara finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored and six RBI, and Wright went 2-for-5 with three RBI.
Cheyenne Fults went 3-for-4 with three RBI to lead the Lions, while Hannah Lee absorbed the loss, allowing 18 runs – 12 earned – on 15 hits in 5.0 innings of work.