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TAMUC – Sports

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SOFTBALL

Lions sweep Dustdevils to wrap up weekend road trip to South Texas

LAREDO – The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team put the wraps on a five-game road trip through South Texas with a sweep of Texas A&M International University, winning 5-1 and 13-0 on Sunday afternoon.

The Lions move to 24-11 overall on the season with the pair of wins, while TAMIU falls to 10-20 on the season. A&M-Commerce is next in action on Friday, hosting Eastern New Mexico for a Lone Star Conference doubleheader at 4 p.m.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORES
– Kinsie Hebler and Mariah Jameyson each hit homers for the Lions to assist the winning cause in the opening game.
– Katie Dean pitched all 12 innings for the Lions, allowing only one earned run on nine hits, with nine strikeouts and three walks in the twin bill.
– Cherie Jackson was 4-for-5 on the day with two doubles and three RBIs.
– Hebler hit .625, and Jameyson hit .500 on the day. Jameyson also drew three walks for a .750 on-base percentage for the day.
– Hebler, December Rivers, and Baylea Higgs each had two RBIs in the doubleheader.

HOW IT HAPPENED (GAME ONE)
Neither team could get offensive momentum, and the Dustdevils scored first. TAMIU’s Ashley Hight doubled to lead off the third inning and scored on a single to make it 1-0 for the hosts.

The Lions finally got on the board in the fifth inning, after Precious Thompson led off with a single. Higgs reached on a fielders’ choice to bring home the opening run, tying the game. Ciera Nunez singled up the middle, and the Lions took the lead on Hebler’s ensuing two-run homer. Jameyson promptly followed her effort with a solo homer to make it a 4-1 Lion lead.

A&M-Commerce pushed the lead to 5-1 in the seventh on Jackson’s two-out RBI single.

Dean was able to work her way out of jams to keep the Lions in front, leaving a Dustdevil on second base in the fourth, and stranding the bases full of TAMIU runners in the sixth.

HOW IT HAPPENED (GAME TWO)
A two-out rally in the first inning put the Lions up for good. Hebler singled, moved to second on a Jameyson walk, and a Jackson double scored the opening run.

The Lions added two runs in the third to make it a 3-0 lead before an offensive explosion in the fourth. A&M-Commerce sent 12 batters to the plate in the frame. Higgs sent Jordyn Sharp home, who had reached on a leadoff error. The Lions went station to station with singles from Nunez and Hebler and walks drawn by Jameyson and Jackson. Rivers’ pinch-hit single scored two runs, and Sharp reached on an error again to score the Lions’ seventh run of the inning. A&M-Commerce found itself up 10-0 at the end of the fourth.

Kayla Kilcrease led off the fifth with a pinch-hit single, Jameyson singled, and Jackson walked to load the bases. A Chealsea Slider single and Tyler Oppenheim walk plated two runs, and the 13th and final run came across when Higgs reached on an error.

Only two Dustdevils reached scoring position in the second game. One was stranded, and another was caught attempting to steal third.

SOFTBALL

Lions battle before dropping pair to Javelinas, 11-9, and 5-4

KINGSVILLE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team came back in the final inning of both games at Texas A&M University-Kingsville on Saturday, but came up just short in both contests. The Lions lost an 11-9 decision in the first, then fell 5-4 in the second game as the Javelinas took the series.

A&M-Commerce falls to 22-11 overall and 9-6 in the Lone Star Conference with the losses, while the Javelinas are now 16-16 overall and 8-9 in the league.

The Lions complete their South Texas swing at Texas A&M International, with a doubleheader slated to start at noon Sunday in Laredo.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORES
– Chealsea Slider and Ciera Nunez each had four hits on the day. Slider drove in three runs, while Nunez brought home three Lions to score.
– Tyler Oppenheim was 3-for-4 on the day with a pair of walks and three runs scored. She had a .857 on-base percentage for the day.
– The Lions had seven doubles on the day but conceded three homers and a double to the Javelinas.
– A&M-Commerce stranded 21 base runners in 14 offensive innings.
– Baylea Higgs had two doubles on the day with a .714 on-base percentage

HOW IT HAPPENED (GAME ONE)
A&M-Commerce jumped out to an early lead, as the first five Lions of the day earned base hits. Nunez and Kinsie Hebler hit back-to-back doubles, and consecutive singles by Mariah Jameyson and Slider scored runs to make it an early 3-0 Lion lead.

The Javelinas cut into the lead with a solo homer in the bottom of the first, but the Lions responded when Oppenheim scored on a Nunez single with an attached error to make it 4-1 in the middle of the second.

The hosts exploded for five runs in the bottom of the second thanks to a three-run homer. Ten Javelinas came to the plate in the inning, and the Lions trailed 6-4. Kingsville added a pair of runs in the fourth on a RBI bunt single and a sacrifice fly, making it 8-4 for the home nine.

A&M-Commerce struggled to push runners across in the middle innings, stranding seven runners on base. A Nunez RBI groundout in the fifth ended the drought, as the Lions cut the lead to 8-5. Unfortunately for the visiting team, their hosts pushed across three more runs in the bottom of that frame to get back out to an 11-5 lead.

Jameyson led off the sixth with a double and Slider brought her home with a single. Johnna Sturm brought home a run with a pinch-hit double. Oppenheim walked, and an error on a double steal brought home a run. Higgs’ two-out RBI double plated Oppenheim and cut the lead to 11-9.

Lion pitcher Brittany Woolridge stemmed the tide by stranding two Javelinas on base in the sixth, giving the Lions a chance in the final frame.

With one out, Jameyson walked, and they hit Slider with a pitch. A ball hit Sturm with two outs to load the bases, but a strikeout left the tying runs on base as Kingsville took a game one win.

HOW IT HAPPENED (GAME TWO)
The Javelinas took an early lead in the second game of the day on a two-run home run with two outs. A&M-Commerce threatened in the second inning, but a runner was thrown out at home plate to end the inning.

The Lions tied the game up in the top of the third inning after Higgs led off with a single. She stole third and came home on Nunez’ infield single. Nunez would score on a Slider RBI groundout to knot the game up at 2-2.

The home side scored twice more in the third to retake the advantage on a pair of singles after the first two batters reached via walks. A Javelina RBI groundout in the fourth pushed the hosts’ lead to 5-2.

After a lull in offensive performance in the middle innings, the Lions roared back in the seventh. Oppenheim reached on a one-out double, and Higgs’ speed forced a lapse in concentration by the TAMUK infield, as she reached on an error. Hebler brought home a run with a fielders’ choice, and Jameyson’s two-out RBI single brought the Lions within one run, with the tying run in scoring position. There was good contact, but a fly ball brought an end to the game, as Texas A&M-Kingsville took both ends of the double header, and the series.

SOFTBALL

Lions start five-game South Texas swing with 6-2 win at Texas A&M-Kingsville

KINGSVILLE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team started a five-game South Texas swing with a 6-2 win over Texas A&M University-Kingsville in Lone Star Conference action on Friday evening.

The Lions move to 22-9 overall and 9-4 in the Lone Star Conference, while the Javelinas fall to 14-16 overall and 6-9 in the LSC. The two teams meet again on Saturday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– The Lions out-hit the Javelinas 9-5 and benefited from a pair of solo homers. Kinsie Hebler hit her seventh home run of the year, and Mariah Jameyson blasted her ninth.
– Hebler also picked up the win in the circle in relief, moving to 6-1 on the season with 3.1 scoreless and hitless innings. She struck out two and walked four. Starter Katie Dean allowed two runs on five hits in 3.2 innings.
– Chealsea Slider was the only Lion with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a two-run single in the fourth.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lions took the early lead in the top of the first when Hebler hit a two-out solo homer to left field to give A&M-Commerce a 1-0 lead.

A&M-Kingsville loaded the bases in the bottom of the first, but the Lions turned a double play to end the early threat. The Lions also turned a double play to terminate the bottom of the second inning.

Ciera Nunez led off the fourth with a single and stole second. Jameyson walked, and December Rivers was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Slider’s single to left field brought home two runs and advanced the lead to 3-0.

The Javelinas scored a pair of runs with two outs in the fourth to cut the Lion lead to 3-2. The guests would break the game open in the sixth.

Jameyson hit her fourth home run of the week with one out to add an insurance run. That cushion increased twice more when two runs came home on a Tyler Oppenheim single with an error on the play.

The Lions took that 6-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth. Hebler hit a batter with two out in the sixth and walked a batter with two out in the seventh, but both batters were stranded to hand the Lions their seventh straight LSC win.
TRACK & FIELD
WOMEN

Lions set eight more provisional marks in the second weekend of outdoor season

ARLINGTON AND HOUSTON – The Texas A&M University-Commerce outdoor track and field teams competed in two meets this weekend, establishing eight NCAA provisional qualifying marks in the second weekend of the outdoor season.

“This was a relatively good weekend for us, but there is still plenty for everyone to work on,” said Lion head track and field coach George Pincock. “It is still very early in the outdoor season, and I know we will put in the work to keep improving as the year progresses.”

The Lions had distance runners competing at Rice’s Victor Lopez Relays, with a larger contingent at UT Arlington’s Bobby Lane Invitational.

The women’s team set three provisional marks in Arlington. On the track, Ashley Bassett set a provisional qualifying time in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:02.31, which is the fastest in the Lone Star Conference at this stage in the season.

Anitial’a Robins had the 10th longest discus toss in Division II this season with a heave of 46.29 meters, while Alexandra VanSickle earned a provisional mark in the shot put with a lob of 13.76 meters.

On the men’s side, the Lions had five provisional qualifying marks, while two other Lions won their events at the meet.

Malcolm Woods earned the third-fastest Division II time this season in the 200 meters, flying around the bend with a time of 21.30 seconds.

There was a familiar sight in the triple jump, as DeVontae Steele and Gage Bowles improved their qualifying marks. Steele now ranks third in Division II at 15.09 meters, with Bowles ranking fifth in the nation at 15.00 meters. Bowles also won the long jump with a leap of 7.18 meters.

Joseph Brown earned his provisional mark in the shot put with a toss of 16.90 meters, and Chase Graham earned a provisional mark in the hammer throw with a heave of 56.91 meters.

Also earning the win in his event was Dedrian Windham with a time of 47.88 seconds in the 400 meters.

The Lions will next compete in the prestigious 90th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin on Thursday, March 29, through Saturday, April 1, with ten men’s and eight women’s events qualified to participate. A&M-Commerce is also preparing to host the East Texas Invitational on Saturday, April 15.

MEN

Luis Romero named Lone Star Conference Male Indoor Track Athlete of the Year

RICHARDSON – After completing his collegiate career with a national runner-up performance at the NCAA Division II National Championships, Texas A&M University-Commerce’s Luis Romero has been named the Lone Star Conference Male Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, as announced by the LSC office on Friday.

Romero wins LSC Male Indoor Track Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season. He 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. He was on the distance medley relay team that finished in fifth place in a tight race at 9:45.66. Romero also finished 16th in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:25.49.

“I know Ricky will be very excited about this,” Lion head track and field coach George Pincock said. “He’s worked hard to accomplish all that he has, and this is another great thing for him as he finishes up his time at Commerce.

“He does deserve every bit of recognition he has earned, and we are very proud of the way he’s represented our University.”