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TAMUC – Sports

No. 10 Lions drop 1-0 defensive battle to No. 1 Augustana

CONROE – The No. 10 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team lost a hard-fought 1-0 defensive battle to No. 1 Augustana on Sunday morning. The Lions had runners on in several innings, but could not find the hits they needed to extend the game. 

The loss drops the Lions to 4-1 on the season, while the Vikings improve to 4-1 on the year. 

The Lions now return home to host the Best Western Plus A&M-Commerce Invitational, bringing some of the top teams in Division II to Commerce. The Lions will play four games during the tournament and host an additional five games throughout the weekend. Complete tournament scheduling found HERE. 

Season tickets for Lion Softball are available by visiting WeAreLionsTix.com, calling Lion Sales & Service at (903) 468-8756, or by visiting the LSS Box Office in the Field House during business hours.


– Thoughts on the game: “I’m proud of the way we played. We played hard and got after it. We just couldn’t come up with the big hit. We had some scoring opportunities. We hit the ball, but they made some plays defensively. They just beat us on the field. I’m really proud of the way Otto pitched and how LeBlanc was coming in at the end there. Both of them had an outstanding weekend.”

– Ongoing toe-to-toe with the defending champs: “It’s the fight that we have. We are going to go down with a big punch. We had the opportunity, and if we get a hit there, we have the opportunity to win the ball game. That’s what you want. When you have a chance to win against the defending national champions in the last inning, you’ll take it. We will keep putting ourselves in those situations, and more times than not, we will come through. It will make us better as a team.” 


– Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar) pitched 6.1 innings, striking out three. Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) pitched the final 0.2 innings, recording a strikeout.

– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.), Serina Aguilar (Houston – Spring Woods), Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence), and Chealsea Slider (Texarkana, Ark.) all had singles in the game.

– The Lions left five runners on base in the game.

– Augustana’s lone run came on a home run in the fourth inning. 


The Vikings had two singles early in the game before Otto had a pair of strikeouts to end the first inning. Hill and Aguilar both singled to put two runners on for the Lions. However, the Lion bats could not bring the runners around. 

Neither team found much success offensively in the second or third innings, as the pitchers for both teams were hitting their spots. Augustana then found its run in the fourth inning, as a solo home run to left field gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead. 

After going three-up and three-down for four consecutive innings, the Lions had base runners reach in the final two innings as they looked to rally. Schaefer singled in the sixth but could not come home.

After LeBlanc entered in the seventh to stop a Viking rally and keep the game a one-run lead, the Lions had a pair reach in the bottom half with two outs. Slider singled and LeBlanc drew a walk to put the tying run in scoring position. However, the Lions could not find the hit they needed to extend the game.


Lion track posts high marks at Pitt State Invitational.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce, track and field teams, continued to ramp up their efforts toward the end of the indoor season with their penultimate event of the regular season at the Wendy’s/Pittsburg State Invitational on Saturday. 

“I am really proud of this team, and I think we are starting to see the results of our hard work. One of the highlights of the day was to see a few of our athletes get on the track for the first time this season,” said A&M-Commerce head track and field coach George Pincock. “Dorian Andrews had two really solid races in the 60-meter hurdles which were the fastest he has ever opened his season at, and it will be nice to see where goes. Lamarion Arnold made an impressive debut in the 4×400 with a mid-47-second leg. 

“Some of our upperclassmen are making steady improvements and moving up the national lists, such as Minna Svaerd and Josh Boateng. It was nice seeing the whole distance crew make some solid improvements, Garvin Chilton ran right around his PR, and Maddie Shubert had a big PR. Octopias Ndiwa had a solid race, and Nicodemus Rotich showed some great range in multiple races.” 

In the men’s 60 meter hurdles, Dorian Andrews’ (Dallas – Skyline) time of 8.01 seconds in the event final now ranks sixth nationally and has the Lone Star Conference’s leading time. He had run a time of 8.05 seconds in the preliminaries. 

Josh Boateng (St. George’s, Grenada) extended his LSC leading mark in the men’s shot put to 16.65 meters (54′ 7 ½”), moving him into the top 20 in the nation in the event. Trayveon Franklin (Montgomery) extended his LSC-best mark in the men’s triple jump to 14.62 meters (47′ 11 ¾”), which places him at 17th on the national list. 

Minna Svaerd (Karlstad, Sweden) cleared the bar at 3.83 meters (12′ 6 ¾”) in the women’s pole vault, extending her LSC-best mark and moving into the top 10 in the nation in that event. 

Nicodemus Rotich (Eldoret, Kenya) claimed the LSC’s quickest time of the year in the 3,000 meters run at 8:23.85. Octopias Ndiwa (Eldoret, Kenya) clocked the LSC’s second-fastest time of the year in the men’s 800 meters run with a time of 1:53.52, less than half a second back of a provisional qualifying time. 

The women’s 4×400 meter relay team of Svaerd, Latrice Nicholson (McKinney – North), Kiara Brown (Dallas – Carter), and Jahonna Hinds (Spring – Westfield) finished in a time of 3:54.57 for a top-four time in the LSC this season. 

Iniuto Ukpong (Mansfield – Summit) moved to third in the LSC in the women’s weight throw with a throw of 15.37 meters (50′ 5 ½”). Freshman Vy Huynh (Mesquite – Poteet) earned a long toss of 12.64 meters (41′ 5 ¾”) in the women’s shot put, moving to fourth in the LSC this year. Freshman Keeley Norris (Texarkana – Liberty-Eylau) won the open division of the women’s high jump, clearing 1.60 meters (5′ 3″), which places her in the top six in the LSC this year. 

The Lions close the regular season at the Fifth Annual Indoor Gorilla Classic back in Pittsburg, Kan., on February 14 & 15.


No. 10 Lions shutout Pitt State 4-0, come from behind to beat Minnesota Duluth 2-1

CONROE – The No. 10 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team picked up a pair of wins on Saturday afternoon. The Lions defeated Pitt State 4-0 early in the day before coming from behind to defeat Minnesota Duluth 2-1 later in the day. 

The wins bring the Lions to 4-0 on the season. 

A&M-Commerce will face No. 1 Augustana, the defending national champion, on Sunday at 10:00 am to close their first week of play. The game will be at the Scrap Yard Sports Complex in Conroe. 


First game: “It was another character day for our team, with two close ball games. We jumped out on Pitt State early and got the lead. Otto really pitched well with the good defense behind her. And Schaefer had that big home run that gave us some insurance there.”

Second game: “In the second game, it was a pitcher’s duel. LeBlanc threw the ball really well. And we brought Otto in the sixth with the opportunity to have a lefty-on-lefty match up with their best hitter against our best pitcher. And Otto struck her out and picked up a huge save for us. The pitching staff is doing an awesome job.”

Getting timely hits in the fifth inning of game two: “It started with Slider getting that double, which was huge. And then Cally did her job and put the ball in play to advance the runner. Then Schaefer slowed the game down and was ready for the moment. She came up big time.” 


– Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence) had a pair of hits, including a home run, with two runs scored and an RBI. She scored the go-ahead run in the first inning.

– Valori Voorheese (Sulphur Springs – Homeschool) and Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) also each had a pair of hits.

– Avery Boley (Fort Worth – Nolan Catholic) had the game-winning RBI on a single in the first inning.

– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) also had a hit and an RBI and scored a run.

– Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar) pitched a complete-game shutout with nine strikeouts, and only three hits surrendered. 


The Lions pulled ahead right from the get-go, as Schaefer singled and brought in to score on a single from Boley. Otto had a strikeout in the bottom half. The Lions had three singles in the second inning but could not bring in a runner, as Otto struck out another in the bottom half. The Lions led 1-0 after two complete innings. 

The Lions brought in another run in the fourth, as Vanessa Avina (Haltom City) scored on a sacrifice fly from Hill. Otto struck out two more in the fifth inning. 

Schaefer hit a home run to left field in the sixth inning to add to the Lion lead. Hill also singled and scored on an error to give the Lions a 4-0 lead. Otto struck out two in the sixth and two more in the seventh as the Lions closed out the game. 


– Alyssa LeBlanc earned her second win of the season, pitching 5.2 innings without an earned run. She had nine strikeouts. Emily Otto pitched the final 1.1 innings, earning the save with a pair of strikeouts.

– Madison Schaefer hit a two-RBI double in the fifth inning to give the Lions the lead for good.

– Chealsea Slider (Texarkana, Ark.), Jodie Hill, and Avery Boley also had hits. 


LeBlanc had two early strikeouts in the first inning, and again in the second inning as she fooled several Bulldog batters throughout the contest. The Lions also struggled with the bats early, recording just one hit in the first four innings. LeBlanc had two more strikeouts in the third inning. 

UMD brought its run across in the third inning, as a throwing error allowed a runner on, and a single brought the runner home. The Lions trailed 1-0 after four complete innings. 

The Lion offense found its stuff in the fifth inning and was aided by a pair of Bulldog miscues. Slider had a double and Cally Pausewang (Bastrop – Cedar Creek) reached on a fielder’s choice error, putting two runners in scoring position. Schaefer smacked a pitch down the right-field line, scoring both runners and putting the Lions into the lead.

After UMD had two hits in the sixth inning, Otto was brought in and struck out the only batter she faced in the sixth inning to preserve the Lion lead. The Lions threatened in the bottom of the sixth but could not add to their lead. However, Otto and the defense closed out the seventh inning to pick up the win.

A strong start and finish lift No. 4 Lions to 78-67 win over Angelo State; Burton ties all-time win mark.

COMMERCE— The No. 4 Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team defeated Angelo State 78-67 on Saturday afternoon, as part of Fill the Field House, presented by the Enrollment Management Division. The Lions built a substantial lead in the first quarter and held off a late ASU push, never trailing in the game. 

The win brings the Lions to 21-0 on the season and 15-0 in the Lone Star Conference. The Rambelles go to 12-6 on the year and 9-5 in conference play.

The Lions return to the court on Saturday as they host UT-Tyler. The game will be at 2:00 pm at the Field House.


No. 10 Lions shutout No. 7 Central Oklahoma 10-0, knock off Harding 2-1

CONROE – The No. 10 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team picked up a pair of wins in the season opener on Friday in Conroe. The Lions defeated No. 7 Central Oklahoma 10-0 in five innings and defeated Harding 2-1 later in the day. 

The No. 10 Lions return to the diamond on Saturday with another pair of games in Conroe. The Lions will face Pittsburg State at 12:30 p.m. and Minnesota Duluth at 5:30 p.m. at the Scrap Yard Sports Complex. 


– Thoughts on game one against No. 7 Central Oklahoma: “You always have those opening day jitters. I was very proud of the offense coming up big in that first game. We got some runs up on the board. That way, Otto could settle in and do her thing and let the defense take over. Anytime you are scoring a lot of runs, it’s really nice.”

– Thoughts on the defense in both games: “It all starts in the circle. Otto pitched a gem with an opening game shutout against the No. 7 team in the country. And then LeBlanc was right there behind her. They both pitched great. And then anytime we have the opportunity, we will bring in Otto to close it out. She obviously did that in the seventh inning to help her teammate out in a close ball game. I’m proud of what they both did.”

– On the character, the team showed: “It’s always good to win those close ones early in the year. We showed great character today, pulling that game out. The upperclassmen stepped up, and the freshmen came in and played well as well. That’s what you have to have. The offense did really well and showed a lot of power all through the lineup. We have two great pitchers. It was great to see everyone contributing.” 


– Kinsie Hebler (Cypress – Cy-Fair) hit a three-run homer in the top of the first, moving into a tie for first place in program history in home runs hit. She also had an RBI double in the game.

– Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence) also had a three-run homer, coming in the second inning. She had four RBIs in the game and scored twice.

– Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar) picked up her 16th career shutout and her 39th career complete game. The Lion ace had a pair of strikeouts and gave up only three hits in the game.

– Chealsea Slider (Texarkana, Ark.) had two hits and scored a run. Uxua Modrego (Burlada, Spain) also scored twice and had a hit.

– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) had two hits and scored once. Serina Aguilar (Houston – Spring Woods) and Kynslee Noriega (Kyle – Lehman) also had hits, while Allie Thompson (Lindale) and Valori Voorheese (Sulphur Springs – Homeschool) also scored runs.

– The Lions have won their first game of the year in each of their six seasons. 


The Lions got the scoring started right off the bat, as Hill singled and Modrego reached on a walk. Hebler then came to the plate and smashed the first pitch she saw right over the fence, giving the Lions a 3-0 lead. Otto struck out one UCO player at the bottom of the inning. 

In the second inning, it was Schaefer who hit the three-run bomb, scoring both Slider and LeBlanc. The Lion defense retired the side in order in the bottom half of the inning, leading 6-0 after two complete innings. 

The Lion offense added a run in both the third and the fourth innings. Noriega had an RBI single in the third, and Hebler added to her RBI total with an RBI single in the fourth. The Lion defense continued its stellar play, as just one hit came in the next two innings. The Lions led 8-0 after four. 

Schaefer brought in another run in the fifth as she reached on a fielder’s choice with two outs. The Lions pushed another run across as Modrego reached on another fielder’s choice, giving the Lions a 10-0 lead. The Lion defense closed out the bottom of the inning to provide the team with the run-rule shutout win. 


– Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) pitched six innings, allowing one run with five strikeouts. She also had an RBI triple to give the Lions the lead.

– Madison Schaefer had an RBI on a sacrifice fly. Avery Boley (Fort Worth – Nolan Catholic) also had a double.

– Emily Otto completed the game, earning her first save of the year. 


LeBlanc had two strikeouts in the top of the first inning and added another in the top of the second. The Lion offense then took off as LeBlanc aided her cause with an RBI triple. She later scored on a sacrifice fly from Schaefer. The Lions led 2-0 after two complete. 

LeBlanc had another strikeout in the top of the third, but the Lion offense could not capitalize on two walks, as both teams were scoreless. The Lions again had two walks to begin the fourth inning but could not increase their lead. 

Both teams had a pair of baserunners reach in the fifth inning, but both pitching staffs and defenses would not allow a run to come across. Harding found its run in the sixth inning, as a single was followed by a triple to score the runner. After six complete, the Lions led 2-1. 

Otto entered the game to close the contest and retired the first two batters. Harding hit a triple to put the tying run in scoring position with two outs. However, Otto flew out the next batter, completing the save.