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LeTourneau University

 

 

LeTourneau University

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

 

After leading the YellowJackets to the first ASC Tournament win in program history, Crystal Jones received the American Southwest Conference All-Tournament.

 

Jones averaged 27 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.0 assists in the two games. The YellowJackets began the tournament with an 86-78 win in the quarterfinals over Hardin-Simmons. In the win over the Cowboys, Jones scored 36 points to go along with two rebounds and two assists. She followed that up with an 18 point, nine rebounds, and a two assist effort in the semifinals loss to Howard Payne.

 

It is the first time in program history that LeTourneau has had a player named to the ASC All-Tournament Team.

 

SOFTBALL

 

The LeTourneau University softball team nearly upset the No. 1 UT Tyler softball team on Friday at Suddenlink Field inn Tyler. The YellowJackets dropped a 1-0 decision to the top team in the nation, stranding four runners on base in the loss.

 

The loss drops LETU to 4-8, 2-5 ASC as UT Tyler improves to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in the ASC.

 

LeTourneau senior Megan Hill started the contest with a single to right field for her first of two hits in the competition. The recent threat by the YellowJackets ended on a double play in the inning. The two teams remained scoreless until the third inning.

 

With two out, R. Rodriguez singled through the left side; then she moved to second on a walk. With runners on first and second, KK Stevens singled down the right-field line to score Rodriguez from second.

 

Again, Hill sparked a threat in the fourth inning. She started the inning with a single to center field; then with one out on a single by senior Rachel Gauspohl, Hill was thrown out at third base. A walk to freshman Macey Mize put runners on first and second. The Patriots’ pitcher Kelsie Batten got a strikeout and kept the YellowJackets off the scoreboard.

 

Batten, who pitched her fourth complete game, improved to 4-2 on the season for UT Tyler.

 

LeTourneau starter Kayla Cosby falls to 3-2 after giving up just five hits and striking out five in the loss.

 

The two teams will wrap up the weekend series with a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 1:00 p.m.

 

The YellowJackets (4-10, 2-7 ASC) were no-hit by Kelsie Batten in game one and limited to just one baserunner – Rachel Gauspohl, who reached on a walk in the fourth inning.

 

The Patriots (8-2, 6-0 ASC) scored eight-straight runs after a scoreless first inning. UT Tyler scored twice in the second, third and fourth and a run each in the fifth and sixth for the victory. Batten picked up offensive support from throughout the lineup including Raven Rodriguez, who had three RBI and KK Stevens, who had two hits to lead a seven-hit attack.

 

In the nightcap, LeTourneau rallied to tie the game at two at the top of the seventh before the Patriots scored in its half of the seventh for the 3-2 win.

 

UT Tyler scored twice in the first inning; then, the YellowJackets got on the scoreboard for the first time on the weekend on an RBI sacrifice fly by Gauspohl. Earlier in the inning, senior Megan Hill started the inning with a double to center field. She moved to third on a single by freshman Kennedi Dillow. With none out, Gauspohl hit a fly ball deep enough to score Hill to cut the deficit to one, 2-1.

 

In the seventh, with one out, sophomore Ashlin Roach doubled to the gap in the left-center field which prompted a UT Tyler pitching change. The YellowJackets’ Brianna Williams greeted the new pitcher with a single up the middle, scoring pinch runner Madison Monayahan from second.

 

With the game tied at two, Cheyenne Thompson reached on a one-out walk and moved into scoring position on a stolen base. Next, a ball hit by Emilee Burkhardt would plate Thompson from second and end the contest.

 

Despite the loss, Megan Hill, Kennedi Dillow, and Ashlin Roach each had two hits as the YellowJackets out hit UT Tyler, 7-4. Senior Kayla Cosby was the tough-luck losing pitcher, pitching 6.1 innings, allowing just four hits and striking out in the loss.

 

The YellowJackets come back home to host UT-Dallas on Friday, Mar. 4 at 6:00 p.m. in GOLD OUT and a doubleheader on Saturday, Mar. 5:00 at noon for Cancer Awareness Day.

 

BASEBALL

 

The LeTourneau University baseball team split a doubleheader with Hardin-Simmons, winning game one 5-4 and losing the nightcap 9-6. The game one victory gives LeTourneau the series to begin American Southwest Conference play.

 

“To win the series was our goal for the last two weeks,” said LeTourneau University head coach Robin Harriss. “We were solid offensively, all weekend. Last night, it was the bottom of the order that came through for us. In game one, today it was the top half of our lineup and in the nightcap, everyone got involved in the offense. I am proud of how far our guys have come in the last two weeks.”

 

LeTourneau (5-6, 2-1 ASC) was strong at the plate with at least nine hits in both games including a season-high 15 in the nightcap. The YellowJackets have had at least nine hits in the last five games including ten extra-base hits in the process.

 

In game one, LETU starter Andrew Harlan pitched his second-straight complete game, scattering six hits and striking out a season-high seven. The top four in the order accounted for all nine hits for the YellowJackets including junior Jacob Simmons in the third spot. The junior first baseman from LaPorte went 2-for-3 with three RBI to lead the YellowJackets.

 

LeTourneau scored twice in the first two innings for an early 4-1 lead before Hardin-Simmons tied it at 4 with a three-run third inning. The YellowJackets regained the lead in the fifth when senior Sean Sellers doubled to left field to start the inning. He moved to third on a ground out by senior Taylor Empkey, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in the win. Then, Simmons brought in Sellers for his third RBI of the contest on a single to left field. Harlan allowed just one more baserunner after the YellowJackets regained the lead to secure the win.

 

In game two, a seven-run fifth inning by the visitors kept the YellowJackets from pulling off the sweep as Hardin-Simmons posted a 9-6 win. LeTourneau built an early 3-0 lead on the strength of a two-run home run by Jacob Faubion in the second inning. HSU cut into the lead with a run in the fourth before exploding for seven in the fifth inning.

 

Facing an 8-3 deficit, LeTourneau got back on the scoreboard when senior Brandon Applewhite drove in Empkey in the fifth to cut the lead to four. HSU got the run back in its half of the seventh inning, but the bats remained hot for the YellowJackets. In the eighth inning, junior Kyle Jacobs hit a solo home run, and they picked up another run after an HSU error to make it a three-run game.

 

All nine starters for the YellowJackets had a hit in the nightcap, including senior Sean Sellers, who had three hits and Brandon Applewhite, Kyle Jacobs, Lee Hosie and Dylan Wadyko each added a pair.

 

The YellowJackets will be off for the next 12 days when they will face McMurry University on Friday, Mar. 11 at 7:00 p.m. in Abilene.

 

WOMEN’S TENNIS

 

The LeTourneau University women’s tennis team posted its first win of the spring with a 6-3 win over Jacksonville College.

 

In the win, freshman Lauren Rockwell and Morgan Weaver each picked up their first wins of the season in No. 3 and No. 4 singles, respectively. Rockwell also teamed up with senior Savannah Wessies for a win at No. 2 doubles. Rockwell posted a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 3 singles over Alex Martinez and Weaver was victorious at No. 4 singles, 6-3, 6-3 over Marysara Mainor.

 

Rockwell and Wessies won at No. 2 doubles, 8-5 over the tandem of Alex Martinez and Marysara Minor. Plus, Weaver and fellow freshman Schuyler Wages, who is also her teammate on the LETU volleyball team, won at No. 3 doubles by default.

 

Also, Wages and Wessies picked up wins at No. 5 and No. 6 singles, respectively by default.

 

“I am very proud of our women’s team for outlasting some tough opponents,” said LETU head coach Suzanne Merritt. “Lauren Rockwell played consistent through the whole match. She and Savannah Wessies are a new team in doubles and they and they played very well at No. 2 doubles. Morgan Weaver had a great win at No. 4 singles. They are all improving and working hard, and I believe they will be ready for our upcoming American Southwest Conference division matches.”

 

The YellowJackets will next travel to Shreveport on Saturday, Feb. 27 to face Centenary at noon.

 

The LeTourneau University women’s tennis team extended its winning streak to three with wins over Centenary, 9-0 and LSU-Shreveport, 7-1 on Saturday.

 

Freshman Lauren Rockwell, who extended her personal winning streak to three, led the YellowJackets (3-3). The Tatum native has not dropped a set in the process including a 6-0, 6-0 win against Tierra Range of Centenary and an 8-3 win against Kelsey Ellender of LSU-Shreveport. She also has a three-match winning streak in doubles with an 8-1 win with senior Savannah Wessies at No. 2 doubles against Centenary and an 8-5 win with Morgan Weaver against LSU-Shreveport.

 

In the win over LSU-Shreveport, LeTourneau sophomore Shelby Skomer picked up her first collegiate win with a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 5 singles.

 

The next match for LeTourneau is against UT-Tyler on Friday, Mar. 4 at 3:30 p.m. in Tyler.

 

MEN’S TENNIS

 

The LeTourneau University men’s tennis team dropped a 9-0 decision to Jacksonville College on Friday at the Davis Tennis Courts in Longview.

 

The YellowJackets were unable to win a set against No. 21 Jacksonville College, but that did not discourage LETU head coach Suzanne Merritt.

 

“The men competed well against the nationally-ranked Jaguars,” said Merritt. “We challenged them to fight for every point and stay in the match, both mentally and physically. I felt that we did that especially well during the singles matches. Jacksonville has a full lineup of strong players, and I appreciate the opportunity for the guys to play them as we prepare for the upcoming American Southwest Conference division matches.”

 

Next LeTourneau is on the road to Shreveport to play Centenary on Saturday, Feb. 27 at noon.

 

The LeTourneau University men’s tennis team posted a 9-0 victory over Centenary for its first win of the 2016 season on Saturday in Shreveport.

 

The YellowJackets (1-5) dominated the match against the Gents, surrendering just seven points on the afternoon. Among the winners were senior Morgan Weaver and freshman Caleb Epps at No. 3 and No. 5 singles, respectively who won by a 6-0, 6-0 margin. Weaver teamed up with fellow senior Michael McLaughlin to win at No. 1 doubles, 8-0. Epps teamed up with junior Tyler Grove for an 8-1 win at No. 2 doubles. Grove won at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-0.

 

Plus, sophomore Robby Bundy and junior Curtis Martin blanked their opponents at No. 3 doubles, 8-0 and junior Kevin Warren was a 6-0, 6-1 winner at No. 6 singles.

 

The next match for LeTourneau is against UT-Tyler on Friday, Mar. 4 at 3:30 p.m. in Tyler.