LONGVIEW, Texas – In a non-conference doubleheader featuring a total of 54 runs on 57 hits, the LeTourneau University softball team bounced back from an 11-6 loss. They scored 13 runs in the final three innings of regulation before going on to score three more in the bottom of the eight. They won by a final score of 19-18 over Centenary College and claim a season split at the LETU Softball Field on Wednesday, April 11.
LETU is now 11-19 overall while the Ladies are 13-17 with each team picking up a victory during the day-night twin bill.
Game One How It Happened:
Centenary jumped out to a 6-0 lead and never looked back despite totaling four errors in the game.
Following a two-run first-inning, the Ladies added three runs in the second inning and a single run in the fourth before seeing the YellowJackets close the gap to 6-4 after a four-run bottom of the fourth.
Centenary quickly jumped back out to a multiple-run lead, scoring the next five runs of the game with four runs coming in the top of the fifth to go up 11-4 heading into the seventh inning.
LeTourneau would have one final shot at making a comeback, scoring two runs and loading the bases to put the game-tying run on deck, but a fly out to center field ended the game with Ladies starting pitcher Nichole Aldridge earning her first save of the year after re-entering with two outs in the seventh.
Game One Key Stats:
YellowJacket starting pitcher Julie Martinez would throw the first three innings before reliever Ashley Burdine tossed the final four innings, with the duo combining to strike out just two batters.
Only two of Centenary’s 16 hits would go for extra-bases, with most of the damage coming from base-hit singles to extend innings.
Freshman Ethel Warren collected three hits in four at-bats for LETU, driving in one run and also getting on via a walk to find her way on-base in four of her five plate appearances.
Stranding runners would be an issue however for LeTourneau, leaving a total of 11 runners in the game compared to just six for Centenary.
Game Two How It Happened:
A wild first inning saw a total of seven runs scored as the Ladies put up a four-spot in the top of the first before seeing the YellowJackets respond with three runs to make the score 4-3 after just one inning of play in what turned out to be a high-scoring affair.
A total of three errors helped the seven-run first inning. They were committed between the two teams in the opening frame, leading to three of the seven runs.
Scoring would then slow down until a five-run fourth inning by Centenary which would be followed up by a four-run fifth as the Ladies threatened to end the game early via the run-rule after going up by a score of 13-3.
Things started to click in the bottom of the fifth for LETU, scoring four runs to extend the game before once again seeing a Centenary push past the eight-run threshold to potentially end the game early as the Ladies scored another three runs in the top of the sixth to go back up by a score of 16-7.
Another big inning by the YellowJackets saw LeTourneau score six runs on four hits and three Centenary errors, with all six runs coming as unearned runs due to the mistakes made in the inning.
LeTourneau managed to hold Centenary scoreless in the top of the seventh, forcing the YellowJackets to need three runs to extend the game into extra-innings after trailing by double digits in just two innings prior.
LETU’s first three batters of the inning managed to reach base safely, with a runner being thrown out at the plate to put runners on second and third with one out and the middle of the lineup coming up to bat.
A groundout put the YellowJackets down to their last out, before getting down to their last strike when freshman Katelyn Trombley hit a two-RBI double to pull LETU within one at 16-15.
Sophomore Taylor MacKenzie then kept the comeback alive with an RBI single to center field that missed being a walk-off home run by a matter of inches, hitting off the top of the centerfield wall.
The game would go to extra innings where the international tie-breaker would be in effect, which would allow the Ladies to score two runs on two hits and one LETU error to take an 18-16 lead.
LeTourneau would make the most of their opportunity in the bottom of the eighth, using a leadoff single to put runners on the corners before a sacrifice fly by Jacie Gilbert brought the YellowJackets back within one.
Following a fielder’s choice, a Kelsi Coleman single and Macey Mize double tied the game at 18-18 with the game-winning run at third before Bailey Woodard managed to put a ball past the outstretched arm of the Centenary shortstop to give LETU a walk-off win.
Game Two Key Stats:
Both teams would be forced to try and overcome four errors each, with a total of 15 unearned runs coming across the plate in the game.
After falling behind early, LETU would turn to Martinez in relief after Amber Fillbrandt (3.2 innings) and Madison Whitfield (2.1 innings) tossed the first six innings of the game, with Martinez earning her fourth win of the year.
Nine of the 19 hits in game two for LeTourneau went for extra-bases, with Mize collecting three doubles on four singles in six plate appearances.
Trombley drove in a total of six runs in the game in addition to scoring twice, with both of her hits coming as doubles.
Only three Centenary hits would go for extra-bases, with the Ladies leaving nine runners stranded in the game and finding themselves unable to take advantage of six free passes issued by the YellowJackets.
LeTourneau will have an off weekend in the American Southwest Conference before starting things back up again next Tuesday, April 17 to kick off the final two weeks of the season. LETU will play their non-conference finale at the University of Dallas starting at 5:00 p.m.
TRACK AND FIELD
RICHARDSON, Texas – For the second time in his career, LeTourneau University track and field freshman Austin Parrish has been named American Southwest Conference Field Athlete of the Week for his performance at the Stephen F. Austin Carl Knight Invitational in Nacogdoches, Texas on Friday, April 6.
Parrish set a new school-record in the pole vault by clearing 4.90 meters (16 ft. – 0.75 in.) while taking fourth behind a trio of NCAA Division I athletes. The feat marks the first time in his career that Parrish has cleared 16 feet in the pole vault, and is currently the fifth-best mark in all of NCAA Division III during the outdoor season.
A Carthage, Texas native, Parrish is studying Kinesiology at LeTourneau University and is the son of Randy Parrish and Maria Marsh.
LONGVIEW, Texas – LeTourneau University has announced Mesa Allison as its new head men’s and women’s cross country coach Tuesday, April 10, by the director of athletics Terri Deike. Allison officially began his duties as head coach with LeTourneau University on April 1, following a three-month stint as a part-time assistant track and field coach for the YellowJackets. Allison will also serve as assistant track and field coach for LeTourneau University under the direction of head coach Don Hood and will focus on the training of distance athletes.
Before joining the YellowJacket family, Allison spent five years at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where he was a cross country and track and field athlete for four years before transitioning into an assistant coaching position.
In his career as a cross country runner for the Bison, Allison ran in 16 races and had a career-best finish of 11th in the 8K at the University of the Ozarks Invitational while running an 8K-best time of 26:05.40 at the Great American Conference Championships his senior year. During his time as a track and field athlete, Allison ranked 83rd in the NCAA Division II in the outdoor 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:33.27 and had a career-best time of 9:24.04 in the 3,000 meters during his indoor career.
Allison is a 2017 graduate of Harding University with a degree in Kinesiology. Allison is initially a 2013 graduate of Canyon High School in Canyon, Texas and is married to his wife, Z’Ann.
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