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TAMUC – Sports

Texas A&M-Commerce Football announces National Signing Day Events.

COMMERCE – The 2017 National Champion Texas A&M University-Commerce football program has announced the events for the announcement of the National Signing Day class of 2018. National Signing Day is this Wednesday, February 7.

As the compliance office confirms signings, the Lions’ official website, LionAthletics.com and Lion Football Twitter feed, @Lions_FB will release the results.

There will be a press conference in the ‘We Are Lions Lounge’ at Memorial Stadium, starting at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. It is open to the public, with parking available on the West side of Memorial Stadium and the Frontage Road to Texas Highway 24. Remarks from head coach Colby Carthel will also be streamed on the Lions’ Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/LionsAthletics). Please contact Associate AD Josh Manck if you wish to attend. One-on-one interview opportunities with coach Carthel will be available immediately after the press conference portion.

That evening at 6:30 p.m., there will be a reception at Lakewood’s 1st & 10 in Dallas (6465 E. Mockingbird, #316). Along with exclusive season highlights and remarks from head coach Colby Carthel, prizes will be available along with food and drink specials for fans in Lion Blue & Gold.

 

SOFTBALL

Lions defeat Metro State 3-2 on a walk-off infield hit in seventh.

RIO RANCHO, N.M.– The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team defeated the Metropolitan State University of Denver 3-2 on Sunday. The Lions won the game on a walk-off infield single in the bottom of the seventh.

The win brings the Lions to 4-1 on the season. The Roadrunners move to 1-4 on the season.

The Lions will now return home for their home opening series. The Lions host St. Edward’s University on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. A pre-game tailgate consisting of free hotdogs and drinks will be provided by Alliance Bank, starting at 2:00 p.m. The A&M-Commerce Marketing and Communications Department will also offer rally towels to the first 200 fans.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Baylea Higgs went 3-of-4 from the plate and scored two runs, including the game-winning run. Higgs also had two stolen bases.
– Kinsie Hebler hit the game-winning hit, scoring one RBI.
– Emily Otto pitched six innings and had seven strikeouts compared to just three hits. Give Lacie Bullard credit with the win after a strikeout in the seventh inning.
– Ciera Nunez had one hit and a stolen base. She also scored a run.
– Kimber Neal had two hits while Vanessa Avina and Chealsea Slider both had one.

HOW IT HAPPENED
Otto was on point from the start, striking out two batters in the first inning. Higgs reached in the top of the inning and also stole second base, but she could not be brought around, leaving the game scoreless after one.

Otto continued to bring the heat, striking out the side in the second inning. Neal singled in the bottom of the inning, but the Lions could not string together more hits, and the game was still scoreless after two.

The Lion defense took care of business again in the third inning, retiring the batters in order. The Lions had a chance in the bottom as Nunez walked and then stole second. But the bats again could not find the softball and stranded her on the bases.

In the fourth, the Roadrunners got a hit with one out. However, the next batter lined out right to Slider, who quickly threw the ball to first for a double play. The Lions then threatened, stringing together two-out hits from Avina and Neal. However, the next batter grounded out to keep the game scoreless after four.

Otto had two more strikeouts in the top of the fifth as the Roadrunners continued to struggle against her. The Lions then got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Nunez reached on a bunt hit. She then stole second base. Higgs then had a hard line hit to the second baseman and beat the throw, advancing Nunez to third. Higgs stole second, and on a bad throw, Nunez scored, and Higgs went to third. A wild pitch brought in Higgs, and the Lions took a 2-0 lead into the sixth.

The next inning was all Neal and Otto as Otto forced three batters to get out. Neal caught a lineout and fielded two groundouts, retiring the side in order. The Lions also went three-up-three-down, and the game went into the seventh inning.

The Roadrunners got their first two runners on base, and the Lions switched pitchers, calling in Bullard. One batter sacrificed on a bunt and advanced both runners into scoring position. Bullard then struck out the next batter to bring up two outs. Bullard pitched the next hitter well but could not get the final strike called. The next pitch was struck and fell into the center field, scoring both runners and tying the game.

In the bottom of the seventh, the first two batters retired. Higgs then came to the plate and pounded a pitch up the middle, and she raced around the bases, stopping at second for a double. Hebler then went to the plate and hit a hard ball to the second baseman. Hebler beat out the throw at first, and Higgs rounded third and headed for home. The throw came, and Higgs slid head first, touching the plate before the tag was applied, winning the game on a walk-off.

 

MEN’S BASKETBALL

No. 22 Lions tripped up by Eastern New Mexico in overtime, 85-81.

PORTALES, N.M. – The No. 22 Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team went to overtime for the second consecutive game but were edged out by Eastern New Mexico 85-81 in Greyhound Arena on Saturday afternoon.

The Lions fall to 17-5 overall and 9-4 in the Lone Star Conference with the loss, while Eastern New Mexico moves to 10-12 overall and 5-8 in LSC play.

A&M-Commerce will play its third of five consecutive road contests on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. against Angelo State in San Angelo.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Aaron Horne and Reggie Reid were the top scorers for the Lions, each netting 18 points. Horne was a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range and also grabbed nine rebounds.
– Srdan Budimir scored 15 points off of the bench and also had five rebounds.
– Willie Rooks had 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists to round out the double-digit scorers.
– The Lions shot 40.3 percent from the floor, making 27-of-67 shots. Both teams only missed three free throws, with A&M-Commerce making 17-of-20 (85.0 percent) and Eastern New Mexico making 19-of-22 (86.4 percent).
– The Lions had a 45-35 rebounding edge.
– A&M-Commerce scored 10 points off of nine ENMU turnovers, while the Greyhounds turned 16 Lion turnovers into 19 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED
In the first half, neither squad was able to pull out to more than a six-point advantage, but a late momentum swing changed the game. Neither team shot well early, as the score was only 9-5 in Eastern New Mexico’s favor with 12:51 left in half. The Lions then outscored the Greyhounds 21-11 over the next seven and a half minutes.

Joseph Williams-Powell started the rally with a thunderous dunk and Reid’s three-point play with 4:17 to go in the period put the Lions up 26-20. Unfortunately for A&M-Commerce, the guests were unable to score again in half. The Greyhounds closed out the opening period on a 9-0 run. A late three-pointer gave Eastern a 29-26 halftime lead.

The Lions canned consecutive three-pointers out of the locker room to regain the lead, and Horne’s triple at the 16:18 mark put the A&M-Commerce edge back at six points at 37-31. ENMU would outscore the Lions 19-6 in the next six and a half minutes to flip that advantage to seven points in the hosts’ favor.

A&M-Commerce eliminated the lead thanks to seven straight Lion points from Budimir. The game tied at 58-all with 5:11 to go. ENMU was able to get back out to a four-point edge in the final 3:23, but the Lions scored the final five points of regulation. A buzzer-beater for the Greyhounds fell lacking, sending the game to the extra time for the fourth time in the Lions’ season.

Trey Conrod scored buckets on the Lions’ first two possessions of the over time, and a Rooks jumper with 2:10 to go gave the Lions a 75-73 lead. The Lions then missed three straight shots, while the Greyhounds made two consecutive three-pointers and a pair of free throws to go up by six. Reid and Rooks hit three-pointers in the straight, but ENMU made six straight free throws to close out the game in front.

 

TRACK AND FIELD

 

LUBBOCK – The Texas A&M University-Commerce, track and field teams, put up numerous records and qualifying marks with strong performances at the Texas Tech Open on Friday and Saturday.

“I’m incredibly proud of this team,” said head coach George Pincock. “All week we’ve talked about being focused and trying to do the best that we can in every single event we entered. The team was able to do that and have fun while they did. We had tremendous performances out of the pole vault and triple jump groups as well as our 400-meter runners. The team is coming together well and focusing on the right things at the right times, and I’m excited to see what happens the rest of the season.”

Newcomer Rashard Clark was the highlight of the meet for the Lions, as he was involved in setting two Lone Star Conference records. He became the first runner in LSC history to ever break 47 seconds in the 400-meter dash, with a time of 46.88 seconds. That automatically qualifies the junior for the NCAA Division II National Championship with the second-fastest time in the nation.

Clark was the anchor leg of the 4×400 meter relay team that set the new LSC record at 3:10.26. Clark was joined by Jude Christine, Dedrian Windham, and D’Lance Sharp in the fastest time in Division II this season. The Lions were already in possession of the nation’s top time, and now hold three of the top four times in the country. It is the 11th-fastest 4×400 relay time in Division II history.

DeVontae Steele will once again represent A&M-Commerce at the National Championship in the triple jump, as he posted the nation’s top mark, longer than the automatic qualifying standard. His mark of 15.62 meters will send him to indoor nationals for the third straight season.

Two women extended their school records set last week. Minna Sveard now has the 14th-best mark in the nation in the pole vault at 3.66 meters, and Hailey Wanoreck has the 22nd-best streak in the country in the weight throw at 17.48 meters. Both marks are provisional qualifying marks.

The men’s pole vault saw two Lions meet the provisional qualification standard. Hudson Hall has a school record and the 13th-best mark in the nation at 4.99 meters, while Colin Millsap earned a provisional qualifying mark of 4.89 meters.

The Lions have two more meets in the regular season before the Lone Star Conference Championships later this month. Next weekend will see A&M-Commerce at the Third Annual Indoor Gorilla Classic at Pittsburg State, the home of this year’s NCAA Division II National Championships.

LONE STAR CONFERENCE RECORDS
Men’s 400m – Rashard Clark – 46.88
Men’s 4x400m Relay – Jude Christine, Dedrian Windham, D’Lance Sharp, Rashard Clark – 3:10.26

SCHOOL RECORDS
Women’s Pole Vault – Minna Sveard – 3.66m
Women’s Weight Throw – Hailey Wanoreck – 17.48m
Men’s 400m – Rashard Clark – 46.88
Men’s 4x400m Relay – Jude Christine, Dedrian Windham, D’Lance Sharp, Rashard Clark – 3:10.26
Men’s Pole Vault – Hudson Hall – 4.99m

AUTOMATIC QUALIFYING MARKS
Men’s 400m – Rashard Clark – 46.88
Men’s 4x400m Relay – Jude Christine, Dedrian Windham, D’Lance Sharp, Rashard Clark – 3:10.26
Men’s Triple Jump – DeVontae Steele – 15.62m

PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING MARKS
Women’s Pole Vault – Minna Sveard – 3.66m
Women’s Weight Throw – Hailey Wanoreck – 17.48m
Men’s Pole Vault – Hudson Hall – 4.99m
Men’s Pole Vault – Colin Millsap – 4.89m

 

SOFTBALL

 

RIO RANCHO, N.M.– The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team split their games against two nationally ranked opponents on Saturday. The Lions defeated No. 22 St. Mary’s 8-2 early in the day before falling to No. 8 Colorado Mesa 14-6 in the afternoon.

The results bring the Lions to 3-1 for their season.

A&M-Commerce will return to action on Sunday for the final game of their five-game tournament to open the season. The Lions will face Metro State at 10 a.m. MST in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Mariah Jameyson went 5-of-7 with two doubles and three RBIs. She also scored three times.
– Emily Otto pitched a complete game in the Lions’ win over No. 22 St. Mary’s. She recorded ten strikeouts in her second win of the year.
– Ciera Nunez went 5-of-8 and was a perfect 3-for-3 when stealing bases. She scored two times.
– Chealsea Slider also went 5-of-8 with two doubles and a triple. She had two RBIs and slugged a team-high 1.125.
– Baylea Higgs and Kinsie Hebler both hit .500. Hebler had two doubles and two RBIs while Higgs also had a stolen base. Higgs scored twice while Hebler scored once.
– Kimber Neal also hit .500 with three singles. She had three RBIs and a run scored.
– Vanessa Avina had two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored. Vanessa Muro also had an RBI.
– Chloe Horn and Precious Thompson both scored twice as pinch runners.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)
After a leadoff walk from Nunez, she stole second. Hebler then came to the plate and blasted a pitch into right center, scoring a run as she got to second. Jameyson then went to the plate and hit a single up the middle to score another run. Slider then came up and hit a double down the left field line. Neal then came up and battled to find her pitch, eventually finding space on the left side to score two runs. The Lions held a 4-0 lead after the first half inning.

Otto was also in a role early, striking out the side in the bottom of the first. Two of the three strikeouts were swinging strikeouts. The Lions led 4-0 after one.

Otto had two more strikeouts in the second inning, and the Lions got another run across in the top of the third. Jameyson led off with a double, battling through more than ten pitches to get her hit. She scored on a triple from Slider. The Lions could not get another rally going and led 5-0.

St. Mary’s had a chance to score in the bottom of the third. The first batter walked and the second singled to center. Otto then settled in. She forced a fly out to left field and then struck out the next two batters, keeping the Rattlers off the board. The Lions led 5-0 after three complete.

The Lions added to their lead in the top of the fourth. Nunez had a single, and a stolen base and Higgs also had a single to put runners in scoring position. Hebler then had a soft hit in the infield to score Nunez. Jameyson then had an RBI single through the left side to score Nunez. Hebler scored on the double from Slider. The Lions led 8-0 entering the bottom of the fourth.

The Rattlers got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. A double was followed by a triple to score a run. Otto had another strikeout in the inning and forced a foul out to end the inning and give up just one run.

The Lions had two runners reach in the top of the fifth but could not bring them around. St. Mary’s then came up and had two leadoff singles in the bottom of the fifth. A sacrifice fly brought in another run for the Rattlers, bringing the score to 8-2. Otto had another strikeout in the inning to end the frame.

The Lions again had two hits in the sixth but could not get any more runs across. Otto had another strikeout in the bottom of the inning, bringing her total to 10. The Lions had two more hits in the seventh but could not pad the lead. It wouldn’t matter as the Rattlers went three-up and three-down in the seventh, giving the Lions the upset win.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)
The Lions had two runners reach in the top of the first before a double play ended the inning. The Mavericks then took the field and got on the scoreboard. The first three batters reached base. After a force out at home, the next batter got a single to drive in a run. A walk and a single brought in two more runs and CMU took a 3-0 lead.

The Lions answered back with two runs in the top of the second. Chealsea Slider led off with a single, and then Avina hit a double to put two runners in scoring position. Neal singled into center, driving in a run. Muro then hit into a fielder’s choice, and another run crossed the plate.

The Lions held the Mavericks scoreless in the bottom of the second and then had their best inning of the game in the third. Hebler led off with a double and Jameyson drew a walk. Both runs crossed on the double from Avina. Muro then drove in a run to give the Lions a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the third.

CMU went on to score five runs in the bottom of the third, helped by a couple of Lion fielding errors. The Mavericks had seven hits in the inning to retake the lead.

The Lions scored another run in the fourth. Higgs reached base on a single and then stole second base. She was brought home on the double from Jameyson. CMU responded with two runs of their own in the fourth, taking a 10-6 lead.

After both teams went scoreless in the fifth inning without hits, the Lions had a chance to put up another run after Nunez had a single. However, the player could not come around, and the Mavericks scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to end the game in six innings.

 

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

PORTALES, N.M. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team went back and forth for the entire game with Eastern New Mexico University before dropping a 64-60 decision in Greyhound Arena on Saturday afternoon.

The Lions fall to 15-7 overall and 11-3 in the Lone Star Conference with the loss, while Eastern New Mexico moves to 13-8 overall and 9-5 in LSC play.

A&M-Commerce is now tied for first place in the LSC with its next opponent – Angelo State. The Lions are next in action on Thursday, February 8, at 5:30 p.m. in San Angelo.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Brianna Wise was the leading Lion on the scoresheet with 21 points, including a perfect 12-for-12 on free throw attempts.
– Artaejah Gay scored 14 points and was one of three Lions with seven rebounds.
– Melanie Ransom scored 13 points and had seven rebounds. Princess Davis netted nine points and had four rebounds.
– The Lions shot 35.2 percent (17-of-54) from the floor and made 2-of-10 three-point attempts. A&M-Commerce excelled at the charity stripe, making 24-of-28 (85.7 percent) of their free throws.

HOW IT HAPPENED
Ransom drained a jumper just over a minute into the game to open the scoring before a Greyhound hot streak. Thanks to a pair of three-pointers, ENMU led 10-4 with 7:22 to play in the first quarter. From there, the Lion defense kept their hosts off the board for 5:28 of game time, simultaneously going on a 10-point run.

Davis’ layup at the 2:07 mark gave the Lions a 14-10 lead. The Greyhounds scored five straight points to retake the lead, but Wise’s free throws in the final seconds of the quarter gave A&M-Commerce a 16-15 lead after the opening 10 minutes.

The Lions took their largest lead of the first half in the opening minutes of the second quarter, keeping ENMU off the board for more than four minutes. A pair of Wise free throws, a London Holland free throw, and a Ransom jumper put the Lions up 21-15 with 6:14 left before the break.

A&M-Commerce only made two more field goals before halftime, with most of the Lion contributions coming at the free throw line. ENMU chipped away at the lead and made four straight free throws in the final seconds of the quarter to tie the game at 31-31 with 20 minutes to go.

The Lions scored the first four points of the second half to regain the lead and did not relinquish the lead in the period despite a shooting lull. A&M-Commerce went 0-for-6 from the field as ENMU came back to tie the game up at 36-all before a Davis personal five-point run. Her pair of free throws at the 3:57 mark made it a 41-36 lead for the Lions. The Lions were unable to make a field goal in the final 3:30 of the quarter but took a 45-43 lead into the final period of play.

A&M-Commerce was able to hold on to the narrow lead for the early stages of the fourth quarter before going cold from the field again. The Lions missed eight consecutive shots from open play, allowing Eastern to go on an eight-point run. The Greyhounds swung the game to a five-point lead in the final seconds. Wise made three free throws, and Gay nailed a jumper to cut the lead to two points, but Eastern made eight free throws in the final two and half minutes to earn the win.