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LeTourneau University – Sports

 

WOMEN’S GOLF

AUSTIN, Texas – Playing in their final regular-season tournament before the American Southwest Conference Championships, the LeTourneau University women’s golf team is in fifth-place following day one of the ASC Conference Preview Meet held at Avery Ranch Golf Club in Austin, Texas on Monday, March 26.

LETU finished the round with a team score of 377, edging out McMurry University (378) and Howard Payne (387) in the seven-team meet. Texas-Tyler leads after the first round, coming in with a team score of 315 and is followed by the University of Texas-Dallas (337) and Mary Hardin-Baylor (344). Host Concordia University Texas is in fourth-place after a first round score of 350.

Individually on the 5,826 yard, Par-72 course, freshman Lauren Johnson is tied for fifth-place after shooting a first-round score of 80. Bree Mask tied for 16th after shooting a first-round score of 90, followed by a round of 96 from Rachael Green and 111 from Melanie Pedigo.

The final round of the two-day, 36-hole meet will get underway with an 8 a.m. shotgun start tomorrow morning.

 

MEN’S GOLF

AUSTIN, Texas – LeTourneau University senior men’s golfer Mason Terry is tied for fourth overall individually as the YellowJacket men now tied for fifth-place following the first round of the American Southwest Conference Preview Meet hosted at the Avery Ranch Golf Club in Austin, Texas on Monday, March 26.

In the eight-team meet, LETU shot a first-round total of 307 and is tied with McMurry University and two shots ahead of seventh-place Mary Hardin-Baylor. Concordia University Texas, which is hosting the meet, leads after day one with a first-round score of two-over 290 followed by the University of Texas-Dallas (296) and the University of Texas-Tyler (299).

Terry finished with an even-par round of 72 after shooting three-under on the back-nine to start his series and coming in with a three-over 39 on the front nine. Senior Daniel Kay also started strong and was two-under through seven holes before dropping back to a round of four-over 76 which puts him in a tie for 14th. Cody Taylor came in with a first-round score of seven-over 79 to sit in a tie for 27th, while Dustin Dingler and Cory Gillespie are both tied for 31st after shooting rounds of eight-over 80. Keaton Williams also competed for the YellowJackets, shooting a series of 90.

Tomorrow’s final round is slated to get underway with an 8 a.m. shotgun start with 18 more holes of golf to be played to determine a team champion. Avery Ranch Golf Club will also host the American Southwest Conference Championship Meet, to be April 30-May 1.

 

MEN’S TRACK AND FIELD

SEARCY, Ark. – Competing in their second straight meet in the state of Arkansas, the LeTourneau University men’s track and field team made significant strides at the Harding University Open at the Ted Lloyd Track in Searcy, Arkansas on Saturday, March 24.

They did not keep team scores at the meet, which featured a mix of NCAA Division II, III, and NAIA schools.

Leading the way for the YellowJackets was freshman Austin Parrish with a first-place finish in the pole vault (4.65 meters, 15 ft. – 3 in.) while Alex Hindman (second, 4.40 meters, 14 ft. – 5.25 in.) and Cole Ironside (third, 4.25 meters, 13 ft. – 11.25 in.) gave LETU a one-two-three finish in the event. Javaughn Dantzler made his collegiate debut with a second-place finish in the long jump after finishing with a mark of 6.49 meters (21 ft. – 3.5 in.) before going on to compete in the 100-meter dash (11.65). Also landing top-eight finishes in the long jump would be Stanley Williams (fifth, 6.14 meters, 20 ft. – 1.75 in.), Parrish (seventh, 5.71 meters, 18 ft. – 8.75 in.), and Arvin Hrushka (eighth, 5.68, 18 ft. – 7.75 in.). Earning fourth-place finishes would be Steven McDonnel (hammer throw, 38.06 meters, 124 ft. – 10 in.) and Derek Byler (110 hurdles, 17.10) as well as Nate Berlandier in the triple jump (12.19 meters, 40 ft. – 0 in.).

Hrushka managed to go on and finish third in the 400-meter hurdles (1:00.49) and fifth in both the 110-meter hurdles (17.10) and high jump (1.75 meters (5 ft. – 8.75 in.). Hrushka also competed in the pole vault (ninth, 3.35 meters, 10 ft. – 11.75 in.). Junior Michael Field finished fifth in the 5,000 meters (16:51.00) in what would amount to his only event of the day while Austin Coblentz (3,000-meter steeplechase, 11:17.52) and Keishaun McMillian (triple jump, 12.05 meters, 39 ft. – 6.5 in.) also earned fifth-place finishes. The 4×100 meter relay team of Berlandier, McMillian, Dantzler, and Williams came in sixth with a time of 44.42 as part of two sixth-place finishes, with Daniel Shen coming in with the other sixth-place mark in the 110-meter hurdles (19.52). Rounding out the top-eight finishes was a seventh-place finish from Michael Brooks in the high jump,(1.65 meters, 5 ft. – 5 in.) Williams in the 100 meters (11.08), and Shen in the 400-meter hurdles (1:06.96) along with McDonnel in the javelin (137 ft. – 4 in.) and Judson Iverson in the hammer throw (33.53 meters, 110 ft. – 0 in.)

Narrowly missing out on top-eight finishes was Hindman in the javelin (41.70 meters, 136 ft. – 9 in.) and Berlandier in the long jump (5.58 meters, 18 ft. – 3.75 in.). Also add Adrik Kling in the discus (31.85 meters, 104 ft. – 6 in.) with all three finishing ninth-place in their respective event. The javelin throw was one of the more busy events for the YellowJackets on the day as McMillian (40.67 meters, 133 ft. – 5 in.), Kling (37.97 meters, 124 ft. – 7 in.), Brooks (37.50 meters, 123 ft. – 0 in.) and Byler (36.42 meters, 119 ft. – 6 in.) competed alongside the two top-10 finishes from McDonnel and Hindman while the 4×400 meter relay team consisting of Hrushka, Lorien Nightingale, Nathan Glastetter, and Wesley Anderson finished 11th with a time of 3:48.69.

Nightingale went on to finish 12th in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:18.70 as did Byler in the hammer throw (26.66 meters, 87 ft. – 5 in.) and Iverson in the shot put (9.48 meters, 31 ft. – 1.25 in.). Other marks for LeTourneau in the meet included McDonnel in the discus (22.30 meters, 73 ft. – 2 in.), Austin Pavatt in the 100 (12.19) and 200 meters (25.03), and Glastetter (2:10.60) and Anderson (2:13.77) in the 800 meters.

LETU will be in action against next week when they return to the lone star state by taking part in the Texas Relays, starting Wednesday, March 28 in Austin, Texas.

 

WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD

SEARCY, Ark. – Senior Crystal Jones and freshman Kirstiana Welch each landed a third-place finish as the LeTourneau University women’s track and field team was paced by a total of 10 top-eight finishes at the Harding University Invitational hosted at the Ted Lloyd Track in Searcy, Arkansas on Saturday, March 24.

Among the top-eight finishes, Jones would take a top-three finish with a mark of 5.02 meters (16 ft. – 5.75 in.) while Welch set a new personal record with a time of 19:36.68. Coming away with a fourth-place finish would be Alexis Segura in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (12:41.03) while Tori Field (triple jump, 9.81 meters, 32 ft. – 2.25 in.) and Lexi Funk (400-meter hurdles, 1:17.82) each came away with a fifth-place finish. Field went on to record the YellowJackets only sixth-place finish of the afternoon, claiming sixth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 18.14 which would be followed by a seventh-place finish by Funk. Ro Galloway would add a seventh-place finish in the 100 meters (13.06) as would Kennedy Keerin the 1,500 meters (5:23.55) before Field rounded out the top-eight finishes with an eighth-place finish in the long jump (4.67 meters, 15 ft. – 4 in.)

Four ninth-place finishes just and two 10th-place finishes gave LeTourneau a total of 15 top-10 finishes, led by a pair of ninth-place finishes from Rebekah Stevenson in the discus (28.98 meters, 95 ft. – 1 in.) and javelin (24.77 meters, 81 ft. – 3 in.). Adding to the ninth-place finishes would be Jones in the 100 meters (13.38) and Bridey Davis in the 5,000 meters (22:00.94). The hammer throw featured a 10th, 11th, and 12th-place finish as Stevenson (28.79 meters, 94 ft. – 5 in.), Carrye Funk (25.12 meters, 82 ft. – 5 in.), and Alicia Griscom (22.90 meters, 75 ft. – 1 in.) all finished back-to-back-to-back. Galloway (10th) and Claire Burson (11th) just missed out on new personal-records in the long jump, finishing with marks of 4.41 meters (14 ft. – 5.75 in.) and 4.33 meters (14 ft. – 2.5 in.)

Other finishes for LeTourneau saw Stevenson take 12th in the shot put (7.91 meters, 25 ft. – 11.5 in.). Carrye Funk in the javelin (20.73 meters, 68 ft. – 0 in.) while Melanie Shempert took 13th in the javelin (19.23 meters, 63 ft. – 1 in.). Keer added a 12th-place finish in the 800 meters (2:34.82). Lexi Funk had a 14th-place finish in the javelin (17.56 meters, 57 ft. – 7 in.). Allison Fuller (1,500 meters, 7:19.13), Riley Blok (javelin, 14.80 meters, 48 ft. – 6 in.), and Burson (400 meters, 1:08.33) went on to compete in their respective events.

Next in store for LeTourneau will be the Texas Relays hosted by the University of Texas in Austin, Texas which starts on Wednesday, March 28.

 

SOFTBALL

LONGVIEW, Texas – A pair of third-inning home runs to go along with a two-run sixth inning proved to the difference as the LeTourneau University softball team lost to number 12 nationally-ranked East Texas Baptist University by a final of 5-0 at the LETU Softball Field on Saturday, March 24.

LETU now stands at 7-15 overall and 5-13 in the American Southwest Conference following their series with ETBU while the Tigers improved to 20-4 overall and a conference-leading 14-1 record in the ASC.

Both teams would see opportunities squandered in the early innings, as East Texas Baptist would leave three runners stranded over the first two innings while the YellowJackets saw one runner left on base in both the first and second inning. ETBU broke the game open in the top of the third with a leadoff solo home run to left field and would take advantage of two walks to put two runners on before a double-play nearly got LeTourneau out of the inning. Still one out short of keeping the deficit at 1-0, East Texas Baptist would collect their second home run of the inning with the latter winding up as a two-run blast that put the score at 3-0 in favor of the Tigers.

The score would remain 3-0 in favor of ETBU until the top of the sixth inning when East Texas Baptist would use a leadoff single and stolen base to put a runner on second before a throwing error brought home the fourth run of the game and a runner on first. Following a pitching change by LETU, the Tigers would steal their second base of the inning and use a wild pitch to advance their base runner to third with just one out which would allow for an RBI groundout to make the score 5-0. LeTourneau managed to escape the rest of the inning unscathed before holding ETBU scoreless in the seventh but just could not generate any offense to try and mount a comeback.

LETU’s lone hit in the game came off the bat of junior Macey Mize, who would also collect the only stolen base of the game for the YellowJackets. Senior Bailey Woodard drew both of the two walks issued by the Tiger pitching staff, totaling the three stranded base runners for LeTourneau.

Starting pitcher Julie Martinez (1-5) pitched the first five-plus innings in the circle, allowing all five runs on six hits and striking out one batter on 98 pitches. Senior Ashley Burdine made her second appearance of the weekend, closing out the final two innings and allowing just one hit.

A shortened-week will see the YellowJackets hit the road on Thursday, traveling to Richardson, Texas to take on the University of Texas-Dallas at 6 p.m. to open up a three-game American Southwest Conference Series with the Comets.

 

SOFTBALL

LONGVIEW, Texas – Playing their first nationally-ranked opponent of the year, the LeTourneau University softball team could not overcome the pitching of number 12 ranked East Texas Baptist University in a pair of losses by scores 6-0 and 7-0 at the LETU Softball Field on Friday, March 23.

Through two games of the Highway 80 rivalry, LETU is now 7-14 overall and 5-12 in the American Southwest Conference while the Tigers improved to 19-4 overall and 13-1 in the ASC.

Game One
One bad inning proved to be the difference in the series opener as ETBU used a six-run third inning to power through offensively while limiting the YellowJacket offense to just four hits. The six-run third would come on four hits, with three of the four hits leaving the ballpark for home runs. LeTourneau would manage to put leadoff batters on-base in the fourth, fifth, and seventh innings while getting a one-out single in the sixth, but could not string together enough hits to drive home any runs.

Senior Ashlin Roach led LETU with two hits in three at-bats while Jacie Gilbert and Bailey Woodard had one single each. Freshman Ethel Warren drew the only walk of the game for the YellowJackets, with LeTourneau leaving five runners on base.

Sophomore Amber Fillbrandt fell to 0-2 in the circle, throwing 2.2 innings and allowing five runs on four hits as her undoing would be issuing three free passes. Ashley Burdine finished out the final four and one-third innings, allowing just one run on two hits.

Game Two
Things would not fare much better in the back-end of the doubleheader as the Tigers took advantage of two unearned runs in both the first and second innings to jump out to a 4-0 lead before tacking on one run in the sixth and two in the seventh. LeTourneau’s offensive struggles from the first game managed to be carried over to game two, collecting just two hits in the contest and a total of six base runners.

Gilbert and Katelyn Trombley each had one hit in the game, with Warren, Trombley, Woodard, and Macey Mize drawing free passes to find their way on base. Sophomore Julie Martinez tossed a complete game, allowing seven runs (two earned) and striking out one batter.

LETU will get a chance to salvage a win in the series against ETBU when the Highway 80 rivalry resumes on Saturday, March 24th with a 12 p.m. first pitch.

 

WOMEN’S TENNIS

LONGVIEW, Texas – Playing in the first of two-weekend matches, the LeTourneau University women’s tennis team dropped a home match to Colorado Christian University by a score of 7-2 at the Davis Tennis Courts in Longview, Texas on Thursday, March 22.

With the loss, LETU falls under .500 for the first time this year and is now 5-6 overall while the Cougars improved to 8-6 overall and 2-0 on their spring break trip.

An early deficit loomed large for the YellowJackets throughout, trailing 3-0 after the doubles match before bouncing back to take two of the three singles matches. In doubles play, Maddison Brackenregand Gracie Favela would be forced to dig themselves out of a hole to send the match to a tie-breaker before ultimately falling by a score of 9-8 (7-5) at number one doubles. Number two doubles saw Terin Murray and Katy Hall drop an 8-4 decision while Lauren Rockwell and Mikayla Thomas fell by a score of 8-3 at number three doubles.

Bouncing back from a loss in doubles play, Brackenreg would earn a convincing 6-3, 6-3 victory at number one singles while Murray fought back from a first set loss to win at number two singles 3-6, 6-1, 10-6 which brought LeTourneau within a single point. Favela would be forced to retire due to injury at number three singles after falling behind 7-5, 4-3 while Hall dropped a 6-4, 6-1 decision at number four singles. At number five singles, Rockwell lost a 6-2, 6-2 decision while Samantha Trevino fell by scores of 6-3, 6-3 in her only action of the afternoon.

LETU will play their first real road match in nearly two weeks tomorrow evening, traveling to Georgetown, Texas to face off against Southwestern University at 5:00 p.m. The game is being made up following a postponement that took place due to weather on February 17.

 

MEN’S TENNIS

LONGVIEW, Texas – Using a trio of three-set singles victories would not be enough for the LeTourneau University men’s tennis team as a late rally fell just short in a 5-4 loss to Colorado Christian University at the Davis Tennis Courts in Longview, Texas on Thursday, March 22.

Despite the hard-fought effort, LETU falls to 3-8 overall while the NCAA Division II Cougars improved to 5-8 overall.

The YellowJackets would take the first doubles match of the afternoon, getting a strong performance leading to an 8-3 victory by Christian Farris and Jimmie Henson. Both the number two and number three doubles matches would be neck and neck from start to finish, as Robby Bundy and Zac Crowley-Kurth fell by a score of 8-6, and Dale Wallace and Nash Best dropped a 9-7 decision at number three doubles.

Facing a 2-1 deficit, LETU would fight back to tie the match at 3-3 following the first three singles matches by taking two of the three games. Farris would be unable to recover in the first set of the number one singles match after falling behind 3-0 but came back to win the game by a score of 3-6, 6-4, 10-7 to earn his second point of the day. Henson would have to play a similar role to Farris, winning a 4-6, 6-1, 10-7 three-set victory at number two singles which would get LeTourneau to the 3-3 tie after Bundy dropped a 6-1, 6-2 decision.

CCU managed to clinch the match with back-to-back victories at number four and number five singles, with Crowley-Kurth falling 6-2, 6-4 and Collin Pattersron winding up on the wrong end of a 6-0, 6-2 decision. With the match already decided, Cameron Wall ended the game on a high note for LeTourneau by earning a 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 13-11 marathon three-set match victory at number six singles.

LETU will be on the road tomorrow, making up a postponed match from February when the YellowJackets play at Southwestern University starting at 5:00 p.m.

Matt Kinney
Sports Information Director