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A&M Commerce


Romero’s runner-up finish in 800m pushes Lion men to ninth place at NCAA Division II Indoor Championships


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s indoor track and field team finished in ninth place nationally at the NCAA Division II Championships on Saturday, following yet another All-American performance from Luis Romero.

Romero was the national runner-up in the 800 meters, finishing the race with a time of 1:50.12 – just 0.16 seconds away from defending his national title in the event. Romero started in the back of the pack, then charged towards the front before room ran out. He earns his sixth All-American honor. He also finished 16th in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:25.49.

The men’s 4×400 meter relay team of Erick Quiroz, Aaron Lecesne, Josiah Dennis, and Dedrian Windham finished in 11th place with a time of 3:16.03.

The Lions totaled 22 points – eight in the 800 meters, five in the triple jump, five in the heptathlon, and four in the distance medley relay. This outing is the Lions’ second-best all-time finish at the Indoor Championships, just behind last season’s eighth place finish. Tiffin won the national title with 62 points.

In women’s action, Jasmine Roberts finished 12th in the triple jump, establishing a new school record at 12.06 meters. Markie Abbott placed 10th in the high jump with a high clearance of 1.70 meters, and Alexandra Van Sickle was 11th in the shot put with a long toss of 13.81 meters.

The Lions have now completed their indoor season and will quickly transition into the outdoor schedule. A&M-Commerce’s first outdoor meets are in the next week, with the Angelo State Spring Break Multis on Wednesday and Thursday, and the TCU Invitational on Friday and Saturday.


Speed bolsters Lions in 6-2 win over Midwestern State

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team picked up a 6-2 win over Midwestern State University on Saturday. The Lions pitching staff had eight strikeouts, and their base runners stole seven bases in the win.

The win and series sweep brings the Lions to 15-8 on the season and 5-4 in the Lone Star Conference. The Mustangs drop to 12-16 on the season and 3-9 in conference action.

The Lions return to the road as they travel to face St. Edward’s University in a doubleheader on Tuesday. The games begin at noon at Diane Daniels Field in Austin.

– Kinsie Hebler pitched 6.1 innings and had a season-high seven strikeouts in the match. Opposing batters hit .217 against her.
– The Lions had ten hits in the game, their seventh game of the season with at least 10.
– The Lions had seven stolen bases, their third game of the season with at least as many.
– Baylea Higgs had three stolen bases and scored two runs.
– Ciera Nunez went 3-of-4 at the plate with three singles. She scored twice and had two RBIs. She also stole two bases.
– Mariah Jameyson had two hits, including a RBI triple. She batted in three runs.
– Hebler, Chealsea Slider, Tyler Oppenheim and Precious Thompson also had hits. Vanessa Avina had a RBI.
– Selena Rima came in and got her fourth save of the season, recording the final two outs of the game without giving up a hit.

Hebler started on a tear, striking out the final two batters of the inning swinging. In the bottom of the inning, the Lions looked to rally. Nunez and Hebler got back-to-back singles to put two runners on with just one out. However, the next two batters could not keep the rally going, and the game was scoreless after one inning.

Hebler continued to show heat as two more batters were brought down swinging in the top of the second. The Lions then broke the game open in the bottom half of the second, using their speed to advance runners. Oppenheim had a single and then stole second base to put a runner in scoring position with one out. After a single from Thompson had advanced her to third, Oppenheim was driven home on a groundout from Avina. Thompson advanced to third base on the play.

Higgs was up next and was hit by a pitch. With runners on the corners, the Lions sent Higgs to steal, and she took the bag without a throw. Nunez then came to the plate and scorched a hit at the shortstop and beat the throw, scoring Thompson. Nunez then stole second. With two runners in position to score, Jameyson hit a single to left-center, and both runners crossed the plate. The Lions led 4-0 after two innings.

Neither team could do much in the third inning. Slider had a single but that was all the Lions could do, and the game remained at 4-0.

Hebler again recorded a pair of swinging strikeouts in the top of the fourth inning. The Lions then added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Higgs had a single and then stole both second and third base to get in scoring position. Nunez drove her home on an infield single. Nunez then stole second base, and she was brought around on a RBI triple from Jameyson. December Rivers nearly had a home run in the next at-bat, but the wind forced it foul, and she grounded out to end the inning. The Lions led 6-0.

Hebler had another strikeout in the fifth inning and defense ruled for the next two complete innings as neither team recorded a hit. The Mustangs looked for a seventh inning rally. After a groundout, the next two batters reached on singles and advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. After a walk had loaded the bases, a single into center field scored two runners to cut into the lead. Then they brought in Rima. She struck out the first batter she faced and then forced a groundout to end the game.


Offense wins game one. Defense wins game two for the Lions against MSU

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team picked up two wins over Midwestern State University on Friday. The Lions cruised to a 7-1 victory in the first game and held on for a 2-1 win in the second match.

The wins bring the Lions to 14-8 on the season and 4-4 in the Lone Star Conference. The Mustangs drop to 12-15 on the season and 3-8 in conference action.

The Lions and Mustangs will meet for a third and final time on Saturday in game three of the series. The game will begin at 1 p.m. at the John Cain Family Softball Field.

– Selena Rima made a mark in the circle in both games for the Lions. She pitched a two-inning save in the first game and did not give up a hit. She then started game two and held the Mustangs to just four hits and no earned runs in five innings. Batters hit just .154 against Rima.
– Kinsie Hebler got it done for the Lions at the plate and in the circle. She hit 4-of-7 on the day with two RBIs. She also saved game two with three strikeouts in a row and did not give up any hits in two complete innings.
– Katie Dean won the first game and pitched five innings and had a strikeout. In total, the Lion pitchers held batters to a .192 average.
– Precious Thompson went 2-of-4 on the day with her first career home run. She scored three runs and had a slugging percentage of 1.250.
– Baylea Higgs went 2-of-5 including a 3 RBI triple in the first game to allow the Lions to run away with the contest. She also stole two bases and scored twice.
– Chealsea Slider had a double and drove in two runs in the second game.
– Tyler Oppenheim scored two runs, and Ciera Nunez came across the plate once. Mariah Jameyson had a RBI single. Oppenheim also stole a base.

The Lions made quick work of the Mustangs in the top of the first and then took the lead right away in the bottom half of the inning. Higgs drew a walk and then stole second base. After advancing to third on a groundout, Higgs was brought to home plate on a single from Hebler into center field. The Lions took a quick 1-0 lead after one inning.

The Lions defense was on point throughout the day and showed it in the top of the second and third innings. The Lions did not allow a hit and were sure-handed with the ball as six outs came up in quick order.

The Lions looked to have a rally going in the bottom of the third. Higgs got a single, and then Ciera Nunez got a bunt hit. A run down caught her and Higgs went to third on a single from Hebler but was thrown out at home plate trying to score. After three innings, the Lions still led 1-0.

MSU tied the game up in the top of the fourth inning. A leadoff double put a runner in scoring position. She was advanced to third on a short-hit single to left field and was then brought home on another short single to the left. Dean got the Lions out of the inning, getting the next two batters out and the game tied at one.

The subsequent at-bats for both teams were fruitless, and the game was still tied going into the bottom of the fifth inning. That is when the Lions took control of the first match. Thompson blasted a ball over the left-field fence for a solo shot that gave the Lions back the lead. Higgs reached on a fielder’s choice, and then a single from Nunez put both runners on. Hebler then came to the plate and slammed a pitch into right field, and Higgs was able to score. A wild throw allowed both runners to advance into scoring position. Jameyson was next and singled to center field to drive in Nunez. The Lions held a 4-1 lead after five innings.

After two singles had led off the top of the sixth inning, the Lions went to Rima, and she got the next three batters out to get the Lions out of the inning unscathed. Some insurance runs came across the plate for the Lions in the bottom of the inning. Dean singled to lead off the inning, and then Oppenheim got a single that bounced off the pitcher’s glove. Thompson then came to the plate to bunt and beat the throw to load the bases. Higgs cleared the bases, who hit the ball over the head of the left fielder and raced around the bases for a triple that scored three runs. The Lions led 7-1 after six.

Rima made quick work of the Mustangs in the bottom of the inning, getting a groundout, pop out and then striking out the final batter.

Each team had base runners in both halves of the first two innings, including a single from Hebler in the bottom of the first but neither team could mount any offense early in the game.

The Mustangs took their only lead of the game in the top of the third inning. An error allowed the leadoff batter to reach and after stealing second, the runner came across the plate on a single up the middle of the infield brought her home. MSU led 1-0 going into the bottom of the third. Higgs reached after being hit by a pitch, and she stole second base in the bottom half of the inning, but the Lions could not get her around, and they continued to trail.

After a quick one-two-three top of the fourth inning, the Lions took the lead. Oppenheim reached first base and then stole second. Thompson then drew a walk, and both runners were brought home on the double from Slider that went all the way to the fence in left center. The Lions led 2-1 after four innings.

After three-up and three down for both teams in the fifth inning, the Lions turned to Hebler out of the bull pen, and she struck out the side in the top of the sixth, including two swinging strikeouts.

After the Lions couldn’t get a rally going in the bottom of the inning, the defense came through. After a leadoff walk, the next batter attempted a bunt but the ball was popped up, and a diving catch was made by Jameyson to record the first out. The runner on first was then caught stealing before a foul out to first ended the game.


Sixth-seed Lions see second half comeback effort fall short in 97-86 NCAA Tournament loss to third-seed West Texas A&M

GOLDEN, Colo. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team staged a furious second-half comeback, but ultimately fell short to West Texas A&M University, falling 97-86 in the South Central Regional Quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship.

The Lions end their season with a record of 19-11 after the program’s sixth overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

– Malik Albert led all scorers with 33 points and ten rebounds, also contributing a pair of blocks and two steals.
– Jovan Austin netted 19 points for the Lions.
– A&M-Commerce only turned the ball over seven times in the contest.
– West Texas A&M held a 44-36 rebounding advantage.
– The Lions trailed by as many as 19 in the competition before staging the furious comeback.
– A&M-Commerce cut that lead to as few as five points in the second half.

The Buffs went on three runs in the first half that contributed to their lead. After Marquieth Russell had scored the game’s first basket for A&M-Commerce, West Texas scored 12 of the next 14 points, leaping out to a 12-4 lead. The Lions responded with a 6-2 run on a basket by Montrell Little and back-to-back scores from Daquane Willford, narrowing the deficit to three points at 13-10 with 14:15 left in the first half.

With 12 minutes to go, the Lions trailed by four at 18-14, but the Buffs proceeded to go on a nine-point run in just over two minutes. Those nine straight points suddenly had the Lions down 27-14.

The Lions would make pushes to get the margin minimized, but did not get it back to single digits. A seven-point WT run pushed the Buffs’ advantage to 18 points at 44-26, and the higher seeded squad scored the half’s final five points and took a 49-30 lead into the halftime locker room.

Trey Seymore, Russell, and Willford each scored six points in the first half, while Russell and Albert tied for the team lead in rebounds at five. The Buffs held a 25-19 rebounding edge at the break, and both teams had eight offensive rebounds. The Lions were held to a 12-of-34 (35.3 percent) shooting clip, while WT shot 17-of 35 (48.6 percent). The Buffs also had five first-half three-pointers to the Lions’ one.

Despite the massive halftime disadvantage, the Lions were not deterred, fighting back to cut the lead to as few as five points in just 12 minutes of second half action.

An Albert three-pointer at the 16:38 mark put the Lions with 10 points at 55-45, part of a 19-6 run in the opening five-plus minutes. Albert’s layup at the 14:37 mark made it a 55-49 contest.

The Buffs snuck ahead slightly, pushing the lead back into double figures at 64-53 with 12:47 to go, but another Lion’s run cut the lead back down to five. A Trey Washington fastbreak layup at the 9:10 mark capped an 8-2 run that had the Lions down only 66-61.

The Lions were within arm’s reach of cutting the lead to a single possession, but the Buffs went on an 8-0 run that saw the Lions miss a shot and turn the ball over in that span. WT led 76-63 with 7:09 to go.

A&M-Commerce went on a 7-2 run in the latter stages, cutting the lead back down to 88-81 with just under three minutes remaining. The lead was still at seven inside the final two minutes before WT’s David Chavlovich drained a three-pointer to get the lead back to 10.

The Lions missed five of their last six shots, seeing the comeback effort fall just short, putting an end to an impressive season.

A&M-Commerce shot 55.9 percent (19-of-34) from the floor in the second half, outscoring the Buffs, 56-48.


Obst, Steele, DMR claim All-American honors for Lions on the second day at Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce, indoor track, and field team picked up 14 points in action at the NCAA Division II Championships on Friday, with three top five finishes. The Lions are in seventh place entering the Championships’ final day.

Following a strong start on Thursday, Florian Obst placed fourth in the pentathlon with 5,331 points to earn his first All-American honor. He had the second-highest pole vault in the competition at 4.75 meters. Obst was in seventh place following the 60-meter hurdles, but his vault over the bar also vaulted him up the leaderboard into second place. He finished the 1,000 meters in 2:50.16 to earn his fourth place finish.

DeVontae Steele earned indoor All-American honors for the third straight season with a fourth place finish. With his sixth and attempt, Steele leaped 15.56 meters – over 51 feet. He has now earned All-American status in all five national meets he has participated in – three indoor and two outdoor.

The distance medley relay team of Austin Yaeger, Dedrian Windham, Luis Osornio, and Luis Romero finished in fifth place in an exceptionally tight race at 9:45.66. The Lions were in sixth place early, then pushed ahead to third, then settled in at fifth. Romero earns his fifth NCAA All-American honor in his storied career, while this is the first All-American honor for Yaeger, Windham, and Osornio.

The Lions’ 14 points place them in seventh, which is just one point behind Minnesota State-Mankato.

Three Lion women and Romero compete in numerous events Saturday. Schedules and live results will be available throughout the weekend at http://results.leonetiming.com/?mid=1140.

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