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LeTourneau University – Sports

 

SOFTBALL

BROWNWOOD, Texas – Dropping the series opener by a score of 3-2, the LeTourneau University softball team would make quick work of Howard Payne University by winning 12-0 in five innings in game two to split a doubleheader at Lady Jacket Field in Brownwood, Texas on Friday, March 16th.

The split is the third consecutive American Southwest Conference series doubleheader split for the YellowJackets while improving to 7-11 overall and 5-9 in the ASC. HPU is now 4-15-2 overall and 1-10 in the ASC following today’s action.

Game One:
Both hits and runs would be hard to come by for both teams in the series opener, as just five total hits would score one run in the first five innings of play. LETU would put a runner in scoring position to open the game in the top of the first, but a pair of pop outs would strand a runner at second before seeing Howard Payne take advantage of a leadoff double to take a 1-0 lead. The single-run would prove to be the only serious threat for either team to score a run until the top of the sixth when the bats would awake for both sides.

LeTourneau would see freshman Jacie Gilbert give LETU their first hit since the top of the fourth inning with a leadoff single in the top of the sixth as the single would be just their third hit of the game. Macey Mize would take full advantage of a runner being on base, depositing a single into the left-center field gap that allowed Gilbert to score from first before taking third base on the throw home to leave LeTourneau with the go-ahead run just 60 feet away. Sophomore Shelby Barrick would keep things going with an RBI single to put LETU up by a score of 2-1, but see the inning stall out after taking the lead as a sacrifice bunt and two pop outs ended the inning.

HPU would have some sixth-inning heroics of their own, using a leadoff double and hit batter to put two runners on with no outs before a sacrifice bunt would put both runners in scoring position and the Yellow Jackets poised to reclaim the lead. A groundout to third in the next at-bat came as a big second out defensively for LETU, but a two-RBI single in the next at-bat would bring home both runners and allow Howard Payne to take a 3-2 lead heading to the top of the seventh.

LeTourneau would manage to put the game-tying run on with one out after Kelsi Coleman would collect her only hit of the game with a one-out double, but a game-ending double play gave host Howard Payne the victory.

Despite pitching a complete game, sophomore Julie Martinez (1-2) would take the loss in the circle while allowing just three runs on five hits. She struck out a season-high five batters. Junior Ashlin Roach along with Gilbert would lead the way with two hits each, as Mize and Coleman would collect the only extra-base hits of the game for LETU.

Game Two:
After scoring in only one inning in the series-opening loss, LETU would manage to score in all but one inning in a run-ruled shortened game two by putting up three runs in the first, one in the second and fifth innings while scoring seven in the fourth to run away with the victory. Gilbert once again would get LeTourneau going, hitting a one-out single in the top of the first before seeing Mize and MacKenzie follow up with back-to-back hits to score Gilbert and put runners on second and third with one out. A Roach single would score Mize and make the score 2-0 in favor of LETU, with MacKenzie scoring on the next play after an error by the Howard Payne shortstop.

Two strikeouts by junior Faith Genoway in the bottom of the first would bring LETU back up to the plate in the top of the second, which saw LeTourneau score one run on two hits and a Howard Payne error to put the score at 4-0. A one-two-three inning by HPU in the bottom of the second would keep momentum in favor of LeTourneau, but see the YellowJackets held scoreless in the top of the third to follow the lead at four runs in what would prove to be the halfway point of the game. Howard Payne would be retired for the second consecutive inning in the third, bringing LETU back to the plate where they would send 11 batters to the plate while scoring seven runs on five hits and take advantage of two Howard Payne errors to take a controlling 11-0 lead.

The no-hit bid by Genoway would be broken up with two outs in the bottom of the fourth as HPU collected their first hit of the game with a single, but see the inning end the same way it ended the first three times around with a strikeout. LeTourneau would tack on one final run in the top of the fifth, with Katelyn Trombley hitting a sacrifice fly to score Mize and make the score 12-0 before ending the game in the bottom of the fifth after working around a pair of one-out singles by Howard Payne.

Genoway’s three-hit shutout improved her record this season to 3-4 overall, while the complete game marked a team-leading third time she has gone the distance in the circle. Mize and MacKenzie each went three-for-four in the game, combining to score five of LETU’s 12 runs in the game while all nine batters for LeTourneau came around to score at least once. Trombley and Hana Bonner would drive in a team-high two runs each with Mize and Bonner providing extra-base hits.

Tomorrow’s series finale between LETU and HPU will get underway at 12:00 p.m. from Lady Jacket Field in Brownwood.

 

BASEBALL

BELTON, Texas – A two-out double by senior Gonzalo Sosa gave the LeTourneau University baseball team a 6-5 lead before hanging on to defeat the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in game one of a three-game series at Red Murff Field in Belton, Texas on Friday, March 16.

LETU improves to 12-8 overall and 5-2 in the American Southwest Conference with the win while the Crusaders dropped to 6-12 overall and 3-4 in conference play.

The YellowJackets would trail for a total of just two innings in the game, taking a 1-0 lead after the first inning on a Noah Mahoney RBI double and holding onto the lead until a two-run third inning by UMHB put the Cru up 2-1. LeTourneau would respond with a pair of runs in the fifth with a Lee Hosie RBI triple which would be followed up by a Bubba Valdez RBI single before tacking on runs in the sixth and eighth innings to take a 5-2 lead in the later stages of the game. Mary Hardin-Baylor scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at 5-5, with the outcome of the game still very much in the balance heading into the ninth.

LETU would make the most of their opportunity in the top of the ninth as Mahoney would draw a one-out walk before seeing Will Bradshaw strikeout to leave the YellowJackets down to their last out offensively. Sosa found the pitch he was looking for on a 3-2 count, hitting an RBI double down into the left-field corner which would bring Mahoney around from first and reclaim the lead. UMHB wasted no time putting the game-tying run aboard after earning a leadoff walk, moving the runner to second on a sacrifice bunt. A strikeout looking would be followed by a strikeout swinging to slam the door shut and secure LETU’s first victory over the Cru since 2015.

Playing the role of a dual threat, Valdez had three hits and one RBI at the plate while earning his first save on the mound after coming in to pitch with the game-tying run on first in the bottom of the ninth. Senior Carson Dickey led the YellowJackets with a perfect four-for-four performance and drove in one run while also scoring one run as all six RBI’s came from different players for LeTourneau. Stranding runners would be an issue for LETU throughout the night, leaving ten runners on base while the Crusaders would strand ten runners of their own.

On the mound for LeTourneau, starter Luke Ludwig would go the first 5.1 innings and allow two runs on six hits while striking out five before Ryder Lognion would come in and get the YellowJackets out of a sixth-inning jam. Lognion tossed one and two-thirds hitless innings before LETU turned to Kolton Eberlan who would throw 0.2 innings, facing a total of six batters. Bryce Brueggemeyer (2-2) earned the victory after coming in with two outs in the eighth inning, stranding a go-ahead runner for UMHB at second while facing just two batters.

LeTourneau can win the season series over Mary Hardin-Baylor tomorrow by winning just once in a doubleheader to close out the weekend. The start time for the doubleheader has been pushed up to 11 a.m. to try and avoid potential weather-related issues that are expected to arise later in the day. Game one on Saturday will feature a seven-inning match which will be followed by a nine-inning game 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.

 

WOMEN’S TENNIS

WACO, Texas – Taking part in their second neutral-site contest in less than one week, the LeTourneau University women’s tennis team would fall in non-conference action to Saint Mary’s College of Indiana by a final score of 7-2 at the Waco Regional Tennis Center in Waco, Texas on Wednesday, March 14.

The loss moves LETU’s team record to 5-3 overall while Saint Mary’s improves to 4-3 overall.

In doubles action, the YellowJackets would struggle throughout all three matches as Maddison Brackenreg and Gracie Favela dropped an 8-6 game while Terin Murray and Katy Hall lost their match at number two doubles by a score of 8-3. Looking to avoid a 3-0 hole heading into singles, the number three doubles team of Lauren Rockwell and Mikayla Thomas would lose a tightly contested match by a score of 8-6 with LETU looking to swing momentum to get back into the contest.

Singles play would not fare much better for LeTourneau, with Brackenreg and Favela earning the only two points of the day with wins at number one and number three singles. Brackenreg earned a 6-3, 6-3 straight sets victory while Favela picked up a win by scores of 6-3, 6-4. At number two doubles, Murray would fall by scores of 6-2, 7-5 while Hall lost 6-1, 6-0 at number four singles. The other two singles matches saw Rockwell drop a 6-0, 6-1 decision at number five singles while Samantha Trevino fell by scores of 6-2, 6-1.

LeTourneau will take the rest of spring break to prepare for three home matches next week, starting on Monday, March 19th. The YellowJackets will welcome the BluGolds of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the morning with a 9:00 a.m. first serve before taking on Texas A&M University-Texarkana at 5:00 p.m.

 

SOFTBALL

LONGVIEW, Texas – Fending off a late rally, the LeTourneau University softball team picked up a 10-9 win over Trinity University Texas before falling in game two by a score of 9-1 to split a doubleheader at the LETU Softball Field in Longview, Texas on Wednesday, March 14.

Winners of three of their past four, LETU is now 6-9 overall while Trinity runs their record to 9-6 overall following the split.

Game One:
Game one would have the YellowJackets pulling away late following two an early deficit and fourth-inning tie despite not trailing by any gap more substantial than one run. After the Tigers would put up a single run in the top of the first, LeTourneau would respond with four runs in the bottom of the first with LETU sending eight batters to the plate and using four singles to go with a leadoff double to put post the four-run inning.

Trinity’s most significant scoring output of the game would come in the top of the third. They scored three unearned runs as part of a total four-run inning to reclaim the lead at 5-4, but see the YelowJackets respond with a Jacie Gilbert two-RBI single in the bottom of the third to go back up by a score of 6-5.

The Tigers would tie the score at 6-6 on a two-out single to left field in the top of the fourth. Then they saw the tie game be short after the YellowJackets put up a two-spot in their half of the fourth as Katelyn Trombley hit a triple down the right-field line to bring home Ashlin Roach and Macey Mize. LETU would go on to add two more runs on three hits in the bottom of the sixth, holding a four-run lead heading into the top of the seventh.

Trinity University would make one final push in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs with two outs in the inning while putting the game-tying run on first before seeing the game end on a groundout to third base.

Ashley Burdine picked up her second consecutive win after throwing the final four innings in relief, allowing four runs on eight hits while recording one strikeout. Starting pitcher Amber Fillbrandttossed the first three innings of the contest, allowing five runs (two earned) on eight hits.

Trombley and Mize would lead the 14-hit effort by LETU, collecting three hits each and combining to score five of LeTourneau’s ten runs. Trombley also drove in a total of four runs while Bailey Woodard would collect two hits, two RBI’s and two runs scored.

Game Two:
Facing an 8-0 deficit after one and a half innings of play would prove to be too big to overcome for the YellowJackets in game two. The Tigers would jump out to a 2-0 lead after one and score six runs in the second to open up an 8-0 lead before LETU recorded their first hit of the game.

Trinity’s two runs in the top of the first would come on just one hit, taking advantage of a hit batter and stolen base with the one hit coming as an RBI double to score the first run of the game. More significant problems in the second inning would end up being the undoing of the YellowJackets, committing two errors while issuing two walks and another hit batter to allow the Tigers to score six runs on five total hits.

Three of LETU’s four hits in the game would come in the bottom of the second, with back-to-back singles to lead off the inning putting runners on first and second before a strikeout and passed ball moved runners to second and third with one out. A Josie Mexquitic single to right field would score Shelby Barrick to the Tiger lead to 8-1, but an inning-ending double play would end the YellowJacket threat.

Both teams would settle in from that point forward, as a combined six hits would be all that would be had in the final five innings of play and with three of the five hits coming in the seventh inning. The only other run of the game would come in the top of the seventh as a leadoff single for Trinity would come around to score on an RBI double to center field.

Freshman Madison Whitfield took her first career pitching decision, falling to 0-1 after pitching 1.2 innings and allowing eight runs on four hits and walking three of the 14 batters she faced. Fillbrandt would respond from her shaky start in game one by limiting Trinity to just one run on seven hits in the final 5.1 innings of relief in game two.

An opportunity to improve their mark in the American Southwest Conference standings is next in line for LETU, beginning Friday at 1:00 p.m. with a doubleheader at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas.

 

WOMEN’S TENNIS

LONGVIEW, Texas – Playing one match at home and on the road this week, the LeTourneau University women’s tennis team opened up their two-match spring break schedule with a 6-3 victory over the Bulldogs of Texas Lutheran at the Davis Tennis Courts on Tuesday, March 13.

LETU is now 5-2 this season which includes a 3-1 mark at home while TLU falls to 5-3 overall.

The YellowJackets would get off to a fast start, earning two of the doubles points as Maddison Brackenreg and Gracie Favela picked up an 8-3 win at number one doubles while Terin Murray and Katy Hall earned an 8-4 at number two doubles. Texas Lutheran managed to win the number three doubles win by a score of 8-2 over Mikayla Thomas and Lauren Rockwell to go into the singles matches trailing 2-1.

It wouldn’t take long for the YellowJackets to clinch the match in singles play, as Brackenreg, Murray, and Favela would all earn wins in their respective games to go up by a score of 5-1 with three matches to play. Brackenreg would make a 6-0, 7-6 (8-6) win in her event at number one doubles while Murray picked up her third straight win at number two singles with a 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 victory. Favela’s 6-2, 6-3 win at number three singles clinched the match for LETU, with freshman Samantha Trevino also going on to win by a final of 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) at number six singles.

TLU earned wins at number four and number five singles, with Hall dropping a 6-1, 6-1 decision at number four singles and Rockwell falling in three sets (6-2, 3-6, 10-7) at number five singles to bring the final score to a three-point victory for LeTourneau.

The YellowJacket women will be back on the court tomorrow afternoon, traveling to Waco, Texas to take on Saint Mary’s College of Indiana at 1 p.m. in non-conference action.

 

MEN’S BASKETBALL

LONGVIEW, Texas – LeTourneau University men’s basketball sophomore guard Nate West has been named to the D3hoops.com All-South Region First team, as announced by D3hoops.com on Tuesday, March 13.

The award is the second, third post-season award that West has earned for his accomplishments this past season, with the All-Region recognition making him eligible to be named to the D3hoops.com All-American Teams to be released later this week.

This past season, West was an All-American Southwest Conference pick and East Division player of the year after ranking fifth in the ASC in points per game with 18.8 while also averaging 5.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. The Houston, Texas native recorded just the second triple-double in school history in a win over Howard Payne and was twice named ASC East Division Men’s Basketball Player of the week this year. West also finished the season in the top-10 for single-season assists at LeTourneau and was just 15 points shy of cracking the single-season top-10 scoring list at LETU.

Matt Kinney
Sports Information Director