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TAMUC – Sports

A&M Commerce

SOFTBALL

Lions top St. Edward’s twice in Tuesday doubleheader

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team got back on the winning side of things Tuesday with two wins against St. Edward’s University. The Lions won the first game 7-4 and the second game 2-0.

The wins bring the Lions to 12-5 on the season, breaking a three-game losing streak. The Hilltoppers fall to 6-12 on the year.

The Lions get back to conference action on Friday as they host Cameron University. The game is part of a three-game series against the Aggies, with a game Friday at 6 p.m. followed by a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. All three games will be played at the John Cain Family Softball Complex in Commerce.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– The Lions used four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead for good in game No. 1.
– The Lions scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning and used their defense to hold SEU scoreless in game two.
– Courtney Jones pitched a complete game shutout in game two, giving up just five hits on 96 pitches.
– Katie Dean pitched five innings in the first game but did most of her damage as a hitter. She got her first two hits of the season, a single and a three-run homerun to give the Lions the lead for good in game one. She also had a RBI walk in game two, totaling four RBIs on the day to go with two runs scored.
– December Rivers had three hits, scored a run and batted in a run on the day.
– Baylea Higgs had two hits in four at-bats and had a RBI. She also reached twice on walks and was successful in all three of her stolen base attempts.
– Johnna Sturm had a RBI double and drew three walks, scoring one run. Her on-base percentage was .714.
– Tyler Oppenheim and Cherie Jackson both had RBIs. Chealsea Slider, Vanessa Avina, Oppenheim and Mariah Jameyson all crossed the plate.
– The Lions were successful in six of their seven steal attempts.
– The Lion infield established a new school record in the second game, turning three double plays.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)
The Hilltoppers looked to gain a lead early in the first inning. The leadoff batter drew a walk and was advanced to third on a single through the left side of the infield. However, after a fielder’s choice kept the runner on third, the next batter grounded into a double play, keeping the game scoreless.

After a leadoff strikeout, Higgs reached base on a single. She stole both second and third base but the next two batters also struck out and the teams were tied after one inning.

The top of the second inning started with a dangerous blooper into center field but Higgs made a diving catch to record the first out of the inning and keep a runner off of the bases. The Lions recorded the next two outs to get out of the inning.

The Lions got on the board in the bottom of the second inning. Sturm drew a leadoff walk and was pitch run for by Avina. She went on to steal second and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice. Oppenheim then came to the plate and smacked a single that was too hot to handle for the infield and she reached first on a single, scoring Avina. The Lions led 1-0 after two innings.

SEU did some damage in the top of the third. After the first batter reached after being hit by a pitch, an error put two runners on with no out. The next batter came up and crushed a pitch over the center field fence, scoring three runs. The Toppers led 3-1 going into the bottom of the third.

The Lions chipped into the lead in the bottom of the third. Three of the first four batters walked, loading the bases with only one out. Rivers then came up and grounded out but scored Slider to cut the SEU lead down to one. The Lions trailed 3-2 after three.

The Lions retired the side in the top of the fourth inning and went to work in the bottom of the inning. Dean had a single up the middle to put the first runner on. After a fly out, Kinsie Hebler drew a walk and then Higgs smashed a pitch up the middle to score Dean and the Lions tied the game at three.

After a leadoff single, Dean retired three of the next four batters and the game was still tied going into the bottom of the fifth. The Lions then did some damage. Rivers singled to lead off and she scored on a double hit over the center fielder’s head to score a run. After Oppenheim reached after being hit by a pitch, Dean did damage as a hitter, scorching a pitch that left the ballpark in a hurry over the left field fence. The Lions led 7-3 after five innings.

An error started the top of the sixth inning. The next batter had a standup double and that put two runners in scoring position. After a walk loaded the bases, Dean’s day was done. Rima came in and retired the next two batters before a walk drove in a run. The Lions led 7-4.

The Lions looked for a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning, however, it wasn’t meant to be and the Lion defense looked to finish the game in the top of the seventh. That’s exactly what happened as Selena Rima forced two popups and then struck out the final batter.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)
The first two batters reached base for the Hilltoppers to lead off the game but Jones got the Lions out of the inning unscathed to keep the game scoreless. In the bottom of the first, A&M-Commerce wasted no time getting on the board. Higgs drew a walk but was forced out on a groundout. Jameyson took her place on the base path and a single from Rivers and a walk from Sturm loaded the bases. Dean came to the plate next and drew a walk to bring a run across. Jackson also drew a walk and another run came across the plate and the Lions led 2-0 after one inning.

The game went scoreless for the next three innings, without much to show on the offensive side for either team. Jones recorded a strikeout in the top of the second, Rivers recorded a hit in the bottom of the third and Thompson had a hit in the bottom of the fourth. However, no runs crossed the plate.

Oppenheim made a diving stop to save a hit in the top of the fifth inning and the Lions still had a two-run lead going into the bottom of the fifth. A diving stop by the shortstop of the Hilltoppers robbed Sturm of a hit in the bottom of the fifth and the game was still 2-0.

The lead batter singled to start the top of the sixth inning but the Lion defense took over. After a fielder’s choice got the first out, Jones forced another grounder and it was fielded by Slider and she threw it to second and Oppenheim fired the ball to first for the double play to end the top of the inning.

The Lions were unable to get any insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and held their 2-0 lead going into the top of the seventh. The Hilltoppers looked for a two-run rally. After the first two batters were retired, a walk and a single gave SEU hope but Ciera Nunez made a reaching catch in foul territory right near the fence of the bullpen to end the game.

TRACK AND FIELD

Lions to send three women and 12 men to NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships

INDIANAPOLIS – The Texas A&M University-Commerce indoor track and field teams will send 15 student-athletes to Birmingham, Ala., on March 9-11 for the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships. Eight men’s individual events, three women’s individual events, and two men’s relays are scheduled to compete for the Lions at nationals.

“Our staff is thrilled to be heading to Birmingham next week,” said Lion Head Track & Field Coach George Pincock. “We believe this is the best group we have taken to the National Championships. Our goal is to focus on replicating performances that got us to this point. We are confident that if we can do this, we will have a successful meet.”

Luis Romero will compete in three events and will be the busiest Lion at the Birmingham Crossplex. He will defend his national title in the 800 meters and will also run in the 3,000 meters and the distance medley relay.

Also defending his national title will be DeVontae Steele, who will participate in the triple jump.

Gage Bowles will jump in both the long jump and triple jump and Dedrian Windham will run in both the 4×400 and distance medley relays.

The 4×400 meter relay team will be comprised of Llewellyn Woodburn, Aaron Lecesne, Josiah Dennis and Windham. The distance medley team will be Luis Osornio, Romero, Austin Yaeger, and Windham.

Also participating in individual events for the men are Elliot Martynkiewicz (5,000 meters), Isaiah McFail (60 meters), and Florian Obst (pentathlon).

On the women’s side, all three Lion qualifiers are participating in field events. Markie Abbott will jump in the high jump, Jasmine Roberts will compete in the triple jump, and Alexandra VanSickle will throw in the shot put.

EVENT SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, MARCH 9

11 a.m. Florian Obst Heptathlon Begins
4 p.m. Isaiah McFail 60m Prelims
5:05 p.m. Gage Bowles Long Jump
5:50 p.m. Luis Romero 800m Prelims
6:30 p.m. Elliot Martynkiewicz 5,000m

FRIDAY, MARCH 10

11:55 a.m. Gage Bowles, DeVontae Steele Triple Jump
6:15 p.m. Osornio, Romero, Yaeger, Windham Distance Medley Relay

SATURDAY, MARCH 11

1:30 p.m. Alexandra VanSickle Shot Put
2:35 p.m. Jasmine Roberts Triple Jump
2:50 p.m. McFail 60m Finals
3:55 p.m. Markie Abbott High Jump
4:10 p.m. Luis Romero 800m Finals
5 p.m. Luis Romero 3,000m
5:35 p.m. Woodburn, Lecesne, Dennis, Windham 4×400 Relay

Josh Manck

Assistant Athletics Director for Communications | Texas A&M University-Commerce