Both Lion track teams rank in top 15 nationally; Women achieve program-best national ranking
NEW ORLEANS – The Texas A&M University-Commerce outdoor track and field teams are both ranked in the top 15 in Division II in the first rankings of the 2017 season, as released by the U.S Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday.
The Lion’s men are ranked seventh nationally, while Lion’s women achieved the best ranking in program history at 15th – their first appearance in the top 20 of Division II since the inception of the rankings in 2010.
The rankings are calculated based on each event’s placement in the national listing.
USTFCCCA NATIONAL RANKINGS BY TEAM
ALL-TIME USTFCCCA OUTDOOR RANKINGS
The men’s team has six events in the top 10 of the nation, led by Dedrian Windham, who broke the school record in the 400 meters and ranks second in that event. Also ranked second nationally is the 4×100 meter relay team of Malcolm Woods, Reggie Kincade, Isaiah McFail, and Devon Sanders.
Sanders ranks fourth nationally in the 200 meters, and DeVontae Steele also ranks fourth nationally in the triple jump. Colin Millsap ranks ninth nationally in the pole vault, and Luis Osornio ranks 10th nationally in the pole vault. The Lion men have 12 total events recording points for 100.7 points in the rankings.
The women’s team has five top 10 events, led by national leader Jasmine Roberts. Her 12.35-meter triple jump is the longest in the nation.
Markie Abbott ranks fourth nationally in the high jump, and Shanecia Baker ranks ninth in the heptathlon. Five Lions recorded fractional points in the heptathlon. Kamryn McKee ranks seventh nationally in the 400 meters.
The 4×100 meter relay team of Mackenzie Clark, Courtlyn Gant, Joy Spann, and Ashlynn Giles ranks eighth in the nation.
The Lions will attempt to improve on these marks in their second weekend of competition this weekend at Rice’s Victor Lopez Classic and UT Arlington’s Bobby Lane Invitational.
Baylea Higgs named Lone Star Conference Hitter of the Week
RICHARDSON – The LSC office on Tuesday announced that the Lone Star Conference Hitter of the Week is Texas A&M University-Commerce’s center fielder Baylea Higgs. This award is the first such distinction of her A&M-Commerce career.
Higgs, a junior from Arlington, Texas, was a regular base runner for Texas A&M-Commerce in five games last week. She hit .632 (12-for-19) with two triples. Her 11 runs scored and 16 total bases were the most on the team, and Higgs also had seven RBIs. She scored the go-ahead run in three of the Lions’ five wins last week and batted in the go-ahead run in another game. Higgs slugged .842 and had an on-base percentage of .667.
When she got on base, Higgs showed off her speed, stealing nine bases without being caught. She has stolen 31 bases on the year, the most in the Lone Star Conference and the top-10 in all of Division II. She has not been caught stealing this season. Higgs is hitting .476 with a .543 on-base percentage and a .585 slugging percentage on the season. She leads the team in hits, runs scored, triples and stolen bases.
“Baylea led the way with 11 runs scored, a perfect 9-for-9 stolen bases and drove in seven runs in the leadoff spot last week,” said head coach Richie Bruister. “She was an absolute force for us.”
The Lions went 5-0 last week and are currently 21-9 overall. A&M-Commerce returns to conference action this weekend for a three-game series against Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The Lions play a single game on Friday at 6 p.m. and then a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday. All three games are at the Vernie and Blanche Hubert Field in Kingsville.
Lions split doubleheader against Texas A&M International on Education Day presented by Alliance Bank, win game two 10-2
COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team split their two games against Texas A&M International University on Tuesday. The Lions lost the first game 8-6 and won the second game 10-2 in six innings. The doubleheader was a raucous environment thanks to the large crowd on Education Day presented by Alliance Bank,
The split brings the Lions to 21-9 on the season. The Dustdevils go to 8-17 on the season.
The Lions return to conference action this weekend for a three-game series against Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The Lions play a single game on Friday at 6 p.m. and then a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday. All three games are at the Vernie and Blanche Hubert Field in Kingsville. The Lions will then face TAMIU on Sunday at noon for a doubleheader in Laredo.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Mariah Jameyson had a smoldering bat, going 6-for-7 at the plate, including three home runs. She scored five runs and batted in seven runs. She had an on-base percentage of .875 and a slugging percentage of 2.286.
– Ciera Nunez went 3-for-7 with five runs scored and four steals. She was not caught as a base stealer.
– Kinsie Hebler pitched in game two and in five innings allowed two unearned runs and had a strikeout. Hebler also went 1-for-4 at the plate but walked four times and scored two runs.
– Katie Dean pitched in relief in both games for the Lions. She had eight strikeouts in just three innings pitched. She also had a home run in the second match.
– Cherie Jackson had a home run that cleared not only the ballpark but went over the parking lot, driving in herself in her only at-bat of the day.
– Chealsea Slider went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and two walks. December Rivers had two hits and batted in two runs.
– Precious Thompson and Tyler Oppenheim also had hits. Thompson and Vanessa Avina each had a stolen base. Avina also scored a run.
– Selena Rima started the first game and had four strikeouts in five innings pitched.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)
It was a rough start for the Lions as the leadoff hitter for TAMIU hit a home run into left field. After two groundouts, the fourth batter also homered, and the Dustdevils led 2-0 after the first half inning.
The Lions hoped for a rally in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, the Lions drew two consecutive walks. However, a groundout stopped the rally, and the Lions trailed 2-0 after one inning.
Rima settled down in the second inning, striking out the first two batters she faced. After a walk, she then snagged a grounder and fired it to first to end the top of the second. The bottom of the inning went quickly.
After a quick three outs in the top of the third, the Lions tied the score in the bottom of the inning. Nunez drew a walk and then stole second base. She was driven home on a home run by Jameyson. The game was tied 2-2 after three innings.
The Dustdevils retook the lead in the top of the fourth. A two-out single up the middle was followed by a double down the left field line that scored the runner. The Lions couldn’t get a rally going in the bottom half and trailed 3-2 after four innings.
TAMIU added to its lead in the top of the fifth. A walk was followed by a home run to left field, scoring two more runs. The Lions responded with two runs of their own. After a stolen base from Nunez, she was driven home on a single by Jameyson. Avina came in as a pinch-runner and scored on a double steal attempt that let the runner steal home while the other runner was tagged out at second base. The Lions trailed 5-4 after five innings.
Neither team could score in the sixth inning, but the Dustdevils added to their lead with three runs in the top of the seventh. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases, and a single into the outfield let two runs score. A sacrifice fly by the next batter gave TAMIU a four-run lead.
The Lions tried to claw back in the bottom of the seventh. Nunez singled, and she was driven home on another homer by Jameyson. However, two runs were all the Lions could come away with, and a fly out ended the game.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)
After three straight groundouts had started the game for the Dustdevils, the Lions scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Nunez singled and then stole second base. A walk and a single loaded the bases with one out. Rivers grounded out but drove in one run. Slider then came up and singled to center, scoring two more runs. The Lions led 3-0 after one inning.
After a quick second inning, the Dustdevils got on the board in the top of the third. A walk followed a leadoff single, and a lineout got the second out, but an errant throw allowed a base runner to come around to score. The Lions got the run back in the bottom of the inning. Jameyson hit another home run to left center, her third homer of the day. The Lions led 4-1 after three innings.
The Lions added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Jackson pinch hit and smashed a home run that went over the fence and out of the parking lot, giving the Lions a 5-1 lead after four innings.
A single from Hebler in the bottom of the fifth started another rally for the Lions. She was pinch run for by Jones who advanced to third on the double from Rivers. The next two batters drew walks, and Pausewang drove in a run on her walk to give the Lions a 6-1 lead after five innings.
The Dustdevils got another run across in the top of the sixth, but the Lions scored four runs in the bottom of the inning to end the game. Dean led off with a home run to left center. Nunez then singled and stole a base for the fourth time on the day. After a walk to Hebler, Jameyson doubled to center, driving in Nunez. Rivers then grounded out but another run came across. A groundout from Slider drew in the winning run as the Lions won on the run-ahead rule.
GOLF – Women
Lion women wrap up Hillcat Classic in sixth place
OWASSO, Okla. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s golf team completed its third tournament in three weeks, as the Lions finished in sixth place at the Rogers State Hillcat Classic at the Bailey Ranch Golf Course on Tuesday.
The Lions shot a 314 in Tuesday’s round, completing the 54-hole event with a score of 946 (316-316-314, +82). St. Edward’s was the team champion at 894.
Three Lions finished in the top 20 on the individual leaderboard, led by Emily Taylor in 17th place at 235 (80-76-79, +19).
She was one stroke ahead of the duo of Anya Anders and Makena Thomas, who tied for 20th at 236 (+20). Thomas’ Tuesday round of 76 tied for the Lions’ best round of the event.
Celeste Emeott finished in a tie for 34th place at 244 (+28), and Emily White shot a 77 in Tuesday’s round to finish on a high note, tied for 43rd at 253 (+37).
The Lions are off for two weeks before completing the regular season in Goodyear, Ariz., at the Western New Mexico Mustang Intercollegiate on April 10-11.
|9||Texas A&M International||345||336||334||1015||+151|
|10||Northwestern Oklahoma St.||356||354||354||1064||+200|
GOLF – Men
Benavides claims all-tournament honors; A&M-Commerce is team runner-up at Lion Invitational at Tanglewood
POTTSBORO – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s golf team improved by five strokes from the first round to finish as the team runner-up at the Lion Invitational at the Tanglewood golf course on the shores of Lake Texoma on Tuesday.
The Lions shot 310-305 (615, +39) for the tournament, with three individual players in the top 20 on the leaderboard. The “B” squad improved by 11 strokes to finish in eighth at 647 (329-318, +71)
Grayson Benavides earned all-tournament honors in a tie for fourth place, shooting 150 (74-76, +6) for the tournament. He was four strokes behind tournament champion Tae Itthiratchai of Western Texas.
Hagan Wood pushed his way into the top 10 if the event at 154 (79-75, +10), cutting four strokes from his Monday score.
Wilfredo Sanchez was one stroke behind Wood at 155 (77-78, +11) for 12th place. Garret Landers’ 158 (80-78, +14) was good for 22nd, and Nick Louy’s 159 (83-76, +15) was good for 27th.
Western Texas claimed the team title at 600 (+24).
On the “B” squad, Jordan Brown tied for 12th on the leaderboard at 155 (78-77, +11). Mason Meaker tied for 41st at 163, Case Garrison tied for 43rd at 164, Alex Hammack tied for 56th at 169, and Reed Fisher tied for 59th at 172.
The Lions head to Austin for their next tournament, playing in the St. Edward’s Invitational on March 27-28 at the Onion Creek Golf Club.
|1.||Western Texas College||303||297||600||+24|
|4.||Our Lady of the Lake||309||311||620||+44|
|5.||Iowa Western CC||320||303||623||+47|
|6.||Southeastern Oklahoma State||304||323||627||+51|
|11.||Southeastern Oklahoma State (B)||333||333||666||+90|
|12.||Oklahoma Panhandle State||340||332||672||+96|
|13.||Seminole State College||340||341||681||+105|
Assistant Athletics Director for Communications | Texas A&M University-Commerce