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TRACK

Kellon Alexis earns automatic qualifying mark in discus to highlight Lions’ day at Texas Relays

AUSTIN – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s outdoor track and field team won another automatic qualifying mark at the 90th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, presented by Spectrum, on Friday.

Kellon Alexis finished second in the discus throw with a long toss of 56.57 meters (185 feet, 7 inches). This mark is the second-longest in the nation in Division II at this point in the season and automatically qualifies him for the 2017 NCAA Division II National Championships.

He joined decathlete Florian Obst as an automatic qualifier and was only 35 centimeters from establishing a new national record for his home nation of Grenada.

In the men’s triple jump, Gage Bowles leaped 15.29 meters, improving on his provisional qualifying mark and moving up to fourth in the nation in that event. DeVontae Steele enhanced by a centimeter from his previous season best to 15.10 meters, ranking fifth in the nation.

Markie Abbott jumped 1.70 meters in the high jump, which is a provisional mark, but not her season best.

“Today was another excellent day for our team, and I am very proud of how the team has responded,” said Lion head track and field coach George Pincock. “Early in the day, we had a few unfortunate events that didn’t play out in our favor. Kellon finished the day off in the best possible way. He made the correct adjustments to the windy conditions and had a great series of throws.

“Coach [Igor] Misljenovic has done a great job working with not only Kellon but all of our throwers. I am sure we will continue to see some significant marks in the coming weeks.”

The Lions complete the Texas Relays with one event on Saturday, as the men’s 4x200m relay team of Devon Sanders, Malcolm Woods, Dedrian Windham, and Josiah Dennis is scheduled to compete.

SOFTBALL

Lions split two games against Eastern New Mexico, win game two 7-1
COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team split a doubleheader against Eastern New Mexico University at home on Friday. The Lions dropped the first game 5-4 but rebounded to win game two 7-1.

The split brings the Lions to 25-12 on the season and 10-7 in the Lone Star Conference. The Greyhounds are now 17-25 and 10-10 in conference action.

The Lions and Greyhounds will meet for game three of their series on Saturday with first pitch at 1 p.m. The game is at the John Cain Family Softball Complex in Commerce.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Kinsie Hebler went 6-for-7 on the day with a double and two triples. She scored three runs and batted in four, slugging 1.571. She also started the second game as the pitcher and struck out a career-high eight batters in 6.0 innings. In her 7.0 innings pitched between the two games, she held opponents to a .125 batting average and had nine strikeouts while giving up just three hits.
– Mariah Jameyson continued to stroke the ball with power. She hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first in game two, giving her eight home runs in her last ten matches. She also threw out the lone base stealer for ENMU.
– Chealsea Slider went 3-for-7 from the plate and had three RBIs and one run scored.
– Jordyn Sharp went 2-for-4 with a RBI and a stolen base.
– Ciera Nunez went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two stolen bases. She is now on a 12-game hitting streak.
– Tyler Oppenheim and Cherie Jackson each had two hits and Precious Thompson, and Baylea Higgs both had one. Higgs also stole two bases.
– Katie Dean pitched six innings in the first game and recorded two strikeouts.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)
A leadoff single started the game for the Greyhounds. However, ENMU could not get the runner around, and the game remained scoreless. The Lions drew a walk in the bottom of the first, but the other batters could not start a rally, and the game was scoreless after one inning.

After a three-up, three-down inning in the top of the second, the Lions took the lead in the bottom of the inning. Jackson reached on a walk and then Slider reached on a fielder’s choice. A walk for Thompson followed a single from Oppenheimas. Sharp was then walked and drove in a run to give the Lions a 1-0 lead after two innings.

The Greyhounds tied the game up in the top of the third. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases and a sacrifice fly brought in the runner from third to tie the game. The Lions retook the lead in the bottom of the third. Hebler led off with a triple, and she was driven in on a single from Slider. The Lions led 2-1 after three innings.

After neither team could do damage in the fourth inning, the Greyhounds offense exploded in the top of the fifth. A leadoff single started the inning. After the next two batters had retired, a two-out double scored the game-tying run. After another batter had reached on a walk, a three-run home run from Susannah Chandler put a stamp on the inning. After five innings, the Lions trailed 5-2.

The Lions cut into the lead with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Thompson reached on a bunt, and a single from Higgs put two runners on base. After a walk had loaded the bases, Hebler singled down the right field line to drive in two runs. The Lions trailed 5-4 after six innings.

Hebler came in to pitch in the seventh inning and got a pop out, a swinging strikeout and a groundout to give the Lion offense a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. The Lions drew a two-out walk to give themselves a chance, but a groundout ended the game.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)
After a quick top of the first inning, the Lions got on the board quickly in the bottom of the first. Nunez had an infield single and then stole second base. Hebler then reached after being hit by a pitch. Jameyson then came to the plate and took the second pitch and blasted it over the center field wall. The Lions led 3-0 after the first inning.

Hebler recorded two strikeouts in the top of the second inning and didn’t allow a run to cross the plate. The Lions added to their lead in the bottom of the inning. Higgs drew a walk and then stole the second and third base. She was brought home by Hebler on a single to right field. The Lions led 4-0 after two innings.

Hebler struck out the side in the top of the third inning and got another strikeout in the top of the fourth inning. The Lions added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Nunez had an infield single and stole second base. She was driven home on the double by Hebler. She was pinch run for by Kilcrease, and she was driven home on a single from Slider. The Lions led 6-0 after four innings.

Hebler struck out a batter in both the fifth and sixth inning, and the Lions kept the Greyhounds off the board. The Lions added another run in the bottom of the sixth. Hebler hit a triple and was driven in on a single from Slider to left field. The Lions led 7-0 after six innings.

The Greyhounds scored a run in the top of the seventh but the game ended on a fielder’s choice.