Lions maintain No. 2 national rankings for a third straight week.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team held steady in this week’s national rankings. The Lions are ranked second in the national coaches’ poll released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association for the third straight week.
It marks the 41st consecutive poll in which they ranked A&M-Commerce in the nation’s top 25. The Lions also received one first-place vote and are tied with Augustana, behind North Georgia.
The Lions are 21-8 on the year and went 3-2 last week with wins over nationally-ranked Southern Arkansas and Angelo State. This ranking does not include Tuesday’s games against Rogers State.
A&M-Commerce has seven teams in this top 25 on this year’s schedule, including No. 2 Augustana, No. 5 UT-Tyler, No. 10 West Texas A&M, No. 12 Texas A&M-Kingsville, No. 14 Oklahoma Christian, No. 21 Rogers State, and No. 25 Southern Arkansas. The Lions are currently 7-3 against teams in the national rankings at the time of the game.
The Lions are off this weekend for the Easter break but face two tough opponents on the road next week – at Texas A&M International (receiving votes) on Friday and current No. 12 Texas A&M-Kingsville on Sunday.
2021 NFCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll – March 31
|1||North Georgia (14)||397||14-0||1|
|10||West Texas A&M||262||21-7||10|
|15||Grand Valley State||170||15-3||19|
New to Poll: No. 20 Minnesota State, No. 24 Kutztown.
Dropped Out: No. 21 Shepherd, No. 24 Angelo State.
Receiving Votes: Lubbock Christian (22), Northwest Nazarene (21), Anderson (23-5), Western Washington (11), Angelo State (10), Trevecca Nazarene (10), Auburn Montgomery (4), Seton Hill (3), Texas A&M International (2), West Chester (2), Southeastern Oklahoma State (1).
Lions close out the regular season with the first road match of the season at Midwestern State.
COMMERCE – The A&M-Commerce Lions close out the regular season Wednesday night, looking to clinch a home game in the upcoming Lone Star Conference Tournament. It will be the Lions’ only road game of the regular season as they take on Midwestern State.
WHO: A&M-Commerce at Midwestern State
WHERE: Wichita Falls | Stangs Park
WHEN: 5:00 pm on Wednesday, March 31
RECORDS: A&M-Commerce is 2-2-0 overall and 2-2-0 in Lone Star Conference play. Midwestern State is 1-5-1 overall and 1-3-1 in the league.
TELEVISION/LIVE VIDEO: LSC Digital Network
LIVE STATS: http://statbroadcast.com/events/statmonitr.php?gid=tame
The Lions need at least a point in the LSC finale against Midwestern to guarantee a Saturday first-round home match. All four of the Lions’ games this season have been one-goal results.
The Lions are ninth in the conference scoring at 2.25 goals per game but concede that same amount. Midwestern State is 11th in the conference scoring at 1.00 goals per game and allowing 1.86 goals per game.
The Lions still lead the conference in shots attempted at 20.5 per match, with MSU averaging 12.57 shots per match.
Leslie Campuzano leads the conference in shots per game, and her 1.00 goals per game and 3.0 points per game rank second in the league. No Mustangs rank in the top 20 in the conference in goals.
Midwestern State goalkeeper Taylor Camp ranks eighth in the conference with a 1.8 goals-against average. Jen Peters is 11th in the conference but allowed only one goal Sunday against DBU, making several impressive saves against the nation’s top-ranked team.
In the series history
The 45th meeting between the two teams has MSU holding a 20-18-6 lead in the all-time series. The Mustangs are 9-7-2 against the Lions in Wichita Falls, but the Lions have not lost to MSU since 2017.
The No. 2 Lions tripped up twice at No. 12 Rogers State
CLAREMORE, Okla. – The No. 2 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team hit a speed bump on Tuesday, dropping a pair of non-conference games to No. 12 Rogers State University.
The Lions were victims of an 8-0 five-inning loss in the opener, then missed opportunities in a 4-3 walk-off loss in the second game.
A&M-Commerce is now 21-8 on the season, while RSU is 16-8. The two teams split the four-game season series, with both teams sweeping on their home diamond.
The Lions are away from the diamond for the Easter break and return to action on Friday, April 9, at Texas A&M International to start a four-game South Texas swing.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game One)
– The Lions were limited to five hits in the game, with Samantha Dutton (Tulsa, Okla.) going 2-for-2. Chealsea Slider (Texarkana – Texas High) had a double.
– Emily Otto (Lamar Consolidated) was hit for the loss, allowing eight runs – seven earned – on ten hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 4.0 innings.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Game One)
Throughout the game, the Lion offense struggled to convert on opportunities, stranding runners in scoring position in four of the five innings.
The Hillcats took advantage of openings, with a two-run homer in the first and four runs in the third. The hosts closed out the run-rule margin in the fourth with a solo homer and an RBI single. Abigail Taylor drove in three runs, and Danelle Day drove in two. Starting pitcher, Andrea Morales struck out seven and allowed only five hits and a walk.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game Two)
– The Lions had four hits in the game, all going for extra bases. Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) hit a two-run homer in the first.
– Dutton, Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence), and Ta’Lyn Moody (Mansfield – Legacy) all had doubled.
– LeBlanc allowed four runs in 6.1 innings on four hits, striking out seven and walking three.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Game Two)
The Lions ended their scoreless streak in the top of the first with a two-out rally. Mackenzie Dugi (St. Hedwig – East Central) walked, and LeBlanc launched a homer to the right for a 2-0 lead.
Both teams had chances in the second, as the Lions had a runner thrown out at home, and an RSU equipment violation after an apparent home run resulted in the Hillcats’ Day called out.
The Lions stranded a runner in the fourth scoring position, and RSU jumped on a chance in the bottom, with a walk, single, and homer giving the home side a 3-2 lead.
A&M-Commerce tied the game in the fifth when Schaefer doubled to the right, stole third, and scored on a laser hit by Dutton up the middle.
Moody led off the top of the seventh with a double, and a pair of walks loaded the bases, but the Lions wasted two opportunities to score the runner from third. RSU put runners on second and third with one out, and a ball to the right side forced a challenging play, and the RSU runner slid around a potential tag to give the home team the sweep.