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TAMUC – Sports

No. 10 Lions fall 2-0 in pitcher’s duel against Rogers State.

COMMERCE – The No. 10 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team lost a 2-0 decision to Rogers State on a rainy Sunday afternoon in the final day of the Best Western Plus Invitational. The Lion defense played well, but the bats could not catch fire to provide run support. 

The loss brings the Lions to 6-3 on the season, while Rogers State improves to 7-2 on the year. 

The Lions next return to the diamond on Feb. 21 as they play in the Edmond Regional Festival, hosted by Central Oklahoma. The Lions will face Fort Hays State at 10:00 am before facing Nebraska-Kearney at 2:00 pm. 

HEAD COACH RICHIE BRUISTER AFTER THE GAME

– Thoughts on the game: “LeBlanc threw really well and should have gotten the win. Our bats have to do their job, and we keep making the same mistakes and aren’t making the adjustments we need to. Our team is better than what we are showing. But I’m optimistic that we will show up. We have a lot of softball left, and I’m looking forward to when we start clicking and play consistently good softball.”

– On the home crowd at the A&M-Commerce Invitational: “We have the greatest fans in the world. We have a beautiful complex for them to come and watch softball. Even in the rain today, we had the stands full, and they were doing their job of cheering for us and supporting us. I’m proud of what they represent and thankful for their wonderful support.” 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) pitched her first career complete game and struck out seven batters while giving up only four hits.

– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.), Serina Aguilar (Houston – Spring Woods), and Kinsie Hebler (Cypress – Cy-Fair) all had singles for the Lions.

– The Lions left six runners on base in the game, while Rogers State left nine on base. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Lion defense forced three consecutive outs to start the game and had an opportunity early. Hill led the bottom of the first with a single and stole a base to get into scoring position. However, she was stranded. 

The Hillcats struck first with a home run to lead off the second inning. LeBlanc pitched a pair of strikeouts to limit the team to just one run in the inning. Aguilar had a leadoff double in the bottom of the third, but the run didn’t come home. 

Rogers State brought another run across in the third inning, after a pair of walks and put a runner in scoring position, a fielder’s choice allowed a run to score, taking RSU’s lead to 2-0 after three complete. 

The Lion bats continued to struggle until the fifth inning when Hebler led off the inning with a single. The Lions could not bring the run home. LeBlanc continued to pitch well to limit Rogers State, but the Lions could not find the offense they needed. 

Women’s golf ranked 11th in first West Region rankings.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s golf team is ranked 11th in the West Region in the first official release of the NCAA Division II regional rankings for this season.

The Lions have played in five events this season, finishing in the top five in four of them. Most recently, A&M-Commerce claimed runner-up honors at the Jack Brown Memorial in Laredo this week.

It is the first of three published rankings before the regional field is selected, with the next publication on March 27. The top 12 teams and top six individuals not on those teams at the end of the regular season will advance to the West Regional, which will be held in Carlsbad, Calif., at The Club at La Costa on May 4-6.

From the regional tournament, the top four teams and top our individuals, not on those teams after 54 holes will advance to the NCAA Division II Championships on May 13-16 in St. Albans, Mo., as part of Division II Spring Sports Festival.

Alexus Jones named Under Armour Student-Athlete of the Week.

COMMERCE – Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball standout Alexus Jones has been named the Under Armour Student-Athlete of the Week by Lion Athletics. 

Jones ­– a senior from Lewisville (Aledo HS) – was named the Lone Star Conference women’s basketball Defensive Player of the Week, as announced by the conference office on Monday. Jones earned her first Player of the Week award of her career. She is the fifth different Lion to be named Defensive Player of the Week, which is the first time a team has had five different players named Player of the Week in a single season, based on the LSC digital archives. All five of the Lion primary starters received Defensive Player of the Week this season. 

Jones shut down the opponent’s primary backcourt scorer, and the senior helped lead the No. 4 Lions to a pair of quality victories last week. Against No. 8 Lubbock Christian, she had a steal and helped the Lions hold the Lady Chaps to 54 points, their lowest scoring output of the season. Jones disrupted LCU throughout the contest, forcing tough shots and playing hardnosed defense throughout, helping force 17 LCU turnovers. She then had four steals and a blocked shot in the Lions’ win over Angelo State, as the Lions forced 20 turnovers. Opponents shot just 40.2 percent against the Lions defense last week. 

Jones and the No. 4 Lions have won 21 games so far this season, which is the second-most in a regular season in program history. The Lions return to the court on Saturday as they host UT-Tyler at 2:00 pm at the Field House. 

The Under Armour Student-Athlete of the Week will be awarded by Lion Athletics each week during the academic year.

2019-20 UNDER ARMOUR STUDENT-ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Sept. 10 – Timon Kemboi, Men’s Cross Country
Sept. 17 – E.J. Thompson, Football
Sept. 24 – Cora Welch, Soccer
Oct. 1 – Sydney Andersen, Volleyball
Oct. 8 – Brandi Stalder, Women’s Cross Country
Oct. 15 – Dominique Ramsey, Football
Oct. 22 – Shelley Chapron, Volleyball
Oct. 29 – Miklo Smalls, Football
Nov. 5 – Leslie Campuzano, Soccer
Nov. 12 – Dyani Robinson, Women’s Basketball
Nov. 27 – Alexis Bryant, Women’s Basketball & Alex Shillow, Football
Dec. 4 – Preston Wheeler & Elijah Earls, Football
Dec. 13 – Malcolm Woods, Men’s Track & Field
Dec. 18 – Wayne Stewart, Men’s Basketball
Jan. 8 – Chania Wright, Women’s Basketball
Jan. 15 – Lexi Bubenchik, Women’s Golf
Jan. 22 – Jamie Williams, Cheer
Jan. 29 – Cesar Torres, Athletic Training
Feb. 7 – Alexus Jones, Women’s Basketball

Men’s golf opens at 10th in South Central regional rankings.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s golf team is ranked 10th in the South Central Region in the first official release of the NCAA Division II regional rankings for this season. 

The Lions have played in five events this season, finishing in the top 10 in the most recent four. Most recently, A&M-Commerce placed sixth at the Jack Brown Memorial in Laredo this week. 

It is the first of three published rankings before the regional field is selected, with the next publication on March 27. The top 10 teams and top three individuals not on those teams at the end of the regular season will advance to the South Central/West Super Regional, which will be held in Las Cruces, N.M., at the New Mexico State University Golf Course on May 4-6. 

From the super regional tournament, the top five teams and top two individuals not on those teams after 54 holes will advance to the NCAA Division II Championships on May 12-16 in St. Albans, Mo., as part of Division II Spring Sports Festival.

1 Oklahoma Christian
2 Colorado School of Mines
3 St. Mary’s
4 St. Edward’s
5 Midwestern State
6 Western New Mexico
7 Colorado State-Pueblo
8 Cameron
9 Dixie State
10 A&M-COMMERCE

 

No. 10 Lions defense shines in 5-1 win over No. 23 Arkansas Tech.

COMMERCE – The No. 10 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team picked up a 5-1 win over No. 23 Arkansas Tech on Friday as part of the Best Western Plus A&M-Commerce Invitational. The Lions fell behind early but rallied to get the win. 

The win brings the Lions to 5-1 on the season, while the Golden Suns fall to 3-3 on the season. 

The Lions return to action on Saturday with a pair of home games. They will first host No. 14 Southern Arkansas at 12:15 pm and will then host Arkansas Monticello at 4:45 pm. Both games will be at the John Cain Family Softball Field. 

ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH GAY McNUTT AFTER THE GAME

– Thoughts on the performance of Otto: “Emily got off to kind of a slow start, and wasn’t pitching the way she is capable. But I like the way she settled in, and she did what we needed her to do to get the win.”

– Getting contributions from young players: “It’s nice to see the freshmen step up and spark us. We certainly needed that in that third inning to get us going. It was nice to see a LeBlanc do that for us.” 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar) pitched a complete game, earning her third win of the year. She had five strikeouts and gave up only two hits.

– Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) had a pair of doubles, scored twice and also had two RBIs. She brought the winning run across.

– Avery Boley (Fort Worth – Nolan Catholic) also had two RBIs. Kinsie Hebler (Cypress – Cy-Fair) also had two hits.

– The Lions had three steals in the game. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

Both teams threatened early, as ATU had a pair of runners reach in the top of the first. Otto struck out the final batter to end the rally. The Lions had a couple of singles to lead off the bottom of the inning but could not get the runners around. 

ATU struck first as they loaded the bases in the third inning. A sacrifice fly brought in a run, giving ATU the lead. 

The Lions struck back in the bottom of the inning. After getting a pair of early outs, the Lions rallied. Hill drew a walk, and Hebler singled to put two runners on. LeBlanc then had a deep hit to center that scored both runners. LeBlanc then scored as she stole and scored on a throwing error. The Lions led 3-1 after three complete. 

The Lions added to their lead in the fifth inning. Hebler singled, and LeBlanc had another double to put two runners in scoring position. Both scored on a single through the middle from Boley. The Lions led 5-1 after five complete innings. 

The Lion defense clamped down, making diving catches and tough plays, and Otto shined in the circle, giving the Lions the win. 

 

Young Lions shine at MSSU Open.

JOPLIN, Mo. – In a meet added to the initial schedule, the Texas A&M University-Commerce track and field teams performed well in the Missouri Southern Lion Open on Friday and Saturday. 

“Our initial plan was to give our student-athletes a week of rest; however, we saw that a few of our student-athletes needed to get a mark or just needed to get some technical work,” said Lion head track and field coach George Pincock. “So we brought them to the meet this week, and I think that was absolutely the right decision. We saw some good performances from younger athletes and saw them do things that we hadn’t seen him do yet this year. A number of our freshman women stood out. Kaelah ElvishKeeley NorrisKiara BrownBraeja Johnson, and Franziska Decker all had a season-best or lifetime bests. I hope that today served as a confidence booster for them.” 

Elvish placed third in the triple jump at 10.78 meters (35′ 4 ½”), fifth in the long jump at 5.23 meters (17′ 2″), and seventh in the 60-meter hurdles at 9.88 seconds. 

Keeley Norris was the runner-up in the triple jump at 11.12 meters (36′ 5 ¾”) and third in the high jump at 1.60 meters (5′ 3″), which tied for the top clearance, with placement determined on the number of attempts. 

Kiara Brown placed third in the 60-meter dash at 7.76 seconds, which ranks fourth in the Lone Star Conference this season. 

Decker placed fourth in the pentathlon with 3,117 points. That score is good for third in the LSC this year. 

The Lions close out the regular season next weekend at the Pittsburg State Indoor Gorilla Classic. That is the final meet before the LSC Indoor Championships on Feb. 29-Mar. 1. 

Schedule Update: Final games of Best Western Plus A&M-Commerce Invitational advanced due to inclement weather

COMMERCE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team has announced a schedule change. Due to rain showers projected to move in in the afternoon hours, the final two games of the Best Western Plus A&M-Commerce Invitational will change times. 

The first game between Arkansas-Monticello and Rogers State will now be at 9:00 am, followed by Rogers facing No. 10 A&M-Commerce at 11:15 am. Both games will still be at the John Cain Family Softball Field. 

Further schedule updates will be found on LionAthletics.com and the Lion Softball Twitter page (@Lion_Softball). 

No. 10 Lions come from behind to defeat Arkansas-Monticello, split day two of A&M-Commerce Invitational.

COMMERCE – The No. 10 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team split their second day of action at the Best Western Plus A&M-Commerce Invitational on Saturday. The Lions fell 6-4 to No. 14 Southern Arkansas earlier in the day before getting a come-from-behind 6-5 win over Arkansas Monticello later in the evening. 

The decisions bring the Lions to 6-2 on the season. The Lions return to action on Sunday as they host Rogers State in the final game of the tournament. The Cain Complex will host two games on Sunday, as UAM will face Rogers State at 9 a.m. The Lions’ game against Rogers State will immediately follow. 

HEAD COACH RICHIE BRUISTER AFTER THE GAMES

– On the loss to Southern Arkansas: “We just didn’t hit and didn’t do the little things that we do in practice every day. That’s what our hitters need to settle in and do. They know how to hit; they know how to do it. You come to practice and watch them, and they are so much fun to watch. They are one of the best hitting teams in the country. They have to get that to the field. And they will. I was proud to see that we made some adjustments in the second game and put up 12 hits.”

– On coming from behind to win the second game against UAM: “You have to come together and play as a team. And we haven’t done that as well as we should be. That’s what we saw in that first game; we weren’t playing as a team. It took coming together and playing as a team against Monticello to win.

– On the contributions of new starters in game two: “I’m proud of Ta’Lyn Moody and Vanessa Avina. They had the opportunity to start, and they made the most of it. The bottom of our lineup scored five runs, and they sparked us. When the bottom gets on, it sparks the top of the lineup with our big hitters. It gives us the opportunity to score. Madison Schaefer had a great night, going 3-for-4. That was team ball at its best.”

– On Alyssa LeBlanc closing out the UAM game: “Otto would be the first to tell you that she didn’t pitch the way she is capable of pitching. But she pitched well enough to keep us in the ball game and give our bats the opportunity to score some runs. And you have to love when a freshman comes in and mows them down. It’s exciting to have our one-two punch this year.” 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 1)

– Kinsie Hebler (Cypress – Cy-Fair) had a pair of hits and two RBIs and also scored a run.

– Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) also had an RBI hit.

– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.), Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence), and Da’Jia Davis (Hillsboro – Midway) all scored runs.

– LeBlanc was the starting pitcher, striking out four. Alexis Velasquez (Amarillo – River Road) and Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar) also had a strikeout each, while Laurel Glatch (Frisco – Liberty) pitched two innings with a pair of strikeouts, and credited with the loss. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)

The Muleriders struck first with a solo home run in the top of the second inning. The Lions fought back with a run of their own in the bottom of the second. The Lions had a pair of runners reach, and the tying run was brought across as Davis stole third and scored on an errant throw. The game tied after two innings. 

The Muleriders scored two more in the top of the third before the Lions fought back to tie the game once again in the bottom half. Schaefer singled and scored on the double from Hebler, and then Hebler scored on a single from LeBlanc. The game was tied after three innings. 

The Muleriders scored again in the fourth inning, and the Lions fought back to score in the fifth inning as Hill drew a walk and then stole second base. She scored on a single from Hebler, tying the game at four. 

SAU scored a run in the top of the sixth and another in the bottom of the seventh. The Lions had chances to even the score but could not get the hits they needed to extend the game. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 2)

– The Lions scored six unanswered runs throughout the fourth and fifth innings to get the win.

– Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar) picked up her fourth win of the season, pitching six innings with six strikeouts. Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) earned her first save of her collegiate career, striking out two batters in the seventh and retiring all three batters she faced.

– Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence) went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. She brought the tying run across in the game.

– Ta’Lyn Moody (Mansdield – Legacy) had two hits and scored twice, and also had a stolen base.

– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.), Kinsie Hebler (Cypress – Cy-Fair), and Chealsea Slider (Texarkana, Ark.) also each had an RBI, and Slider also scored twice. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)

The Blossoms struck right away, as a two-run home run in the top of the first gave them a lead. The Lions had a pair of runners reach in the bottom of the first, but could not bring the runs across. 

UAM brought two more runs across in the top of the third inning to take a 4-0 lead. The Lions then found their groove at the bottom of the fourth. Slider had a single, and Moody also singled. Slider scored on a passed ball, and Moody scored on a single from Schaefer. The Lions trailed 4-2 after four complete. 

After Otto struck out a pair in the top of the fifth, the Lion offense again was hot. After a runner reached on an error, Slider brought the run home on a single. Moody then reached on a bunt hit as the Lions loaded the bases. Schaefer brought one run home on a single, and Hill brought the game-winning run across on a sacrifice fly. Another run came across on a passed ball, and the Lions led 6-4. 

UAM brought an unearned run across in the sixth inning and looked to try and tie the game in the seventh inning. The Lions turned to LeBlanc, who was up for the challenge. She forced a first hitter into a groundout, then struck out the final two batters she faced to earn the save and give the Lions the win. 

Moreno’s career-high leads Lions to 77-63 overtime win over UT-Tyler

COMMERCE – Overtime came after a tightly played contest, and the Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball turned up the heat to earn a 77-63 win over visiting UT-Tyler in the Field House on Saturday afternoon.

The Lions outscored the Patriots 16-2 in the overtime period without allowing a field goal to UTT. The win snaps a three-game losing skid and moves the Lions to 14-8 overall and 10-6 in the Lone Star Conference, while UT Tyler is now 6-15 overall and 3-13 in the LSC. A&M-Commerce has a perfect 6-0 mark in divisional play and has the potential to clinch the divisional championship with a pair of wins next week.

A&M-Commerce’s next action comes on Thursday at Midwestern State with a 7:30 p.m. tipoff in Wichita Falls.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Alberto Moreno (Ingenio, Gran Canaria) scored a career-high 23 points, making 5-of-7 three-point attempts.

– Deonta Terrell (Chicago, Ill.) scored 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting and passed out five assists.

– Wayne Stewart (Philadelphia, Pa.) notched his fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

– The Lions hit 48.3 percent (29-of-60) of their shots from the field, including 6-of-9 in the overtime period.

A&M-Commerce had a 36-27 rebounding advantage.

No. 4 Lions roll to historic 98-49 win over UT Tyler

Burton claims sole possession of program’s all-time wins mark; Lions tie the school record for regular-season wins.

COMMERCE – The No. 4 Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team jumped out to a massive lead in the second quarter, and they never looked back in a 98-49 rout of the University of Texas at Tyler in the Field House on Saturday. 

The win was a historic one for the blue and gold, as the Lions tied the program record for most wins in a regular season, and head coach Jason Burton claimed sole possession of the school record for most wins by a head coach with his 110th victory. 

The Lions move to 22-0 overall and 16-0 in the Lone Star Conference. UT Tyler falls to 3-17 overall and 1-15 in league play. 

A&M-Commerce is on the road for a pair of games next week, starting at Midwestern State at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Wichita Falls. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Chania Wright (DeSoto) led the Lions with 20 points and six rebounds as one of four A&M-Commerce players in double digits.

– Alexis Bryant (Pflugerville) scored 15 points with three assists and drew six fouls.

– Juliana Louis (Long Beach, Calif.) had a double-double with 11 points and ten rebounds, including four offensive boards.

– Dyani Robinson (Cypress – Langham Creek) scored 13 points off the bench. Two other Lions narrowly missed out on double-doubles as Agang Tac (Sachse) scored eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Mykiel Burleson (Pflugerville) scored nine points and passed out seven assists.

– The Lions shot 52.1 percent (37-of-71) from the floor in the game while limiting UT Tyler to 16-of-51 (31.4 percent shooting).

– A&M-Commerce also had an astounding plus-30 rebounding margin (51-21).