ABILENE, Texas – The Southeastern Louisiana softball team opened Southland Conference play on Friday, falling twice to Abilene Christian at Poly Wells Field.
With the two losses, Southeastern fell to 9-13 overall and 0-2 in Southland action. Abilene Christian evened its overall record at 12-12 and improved to 2-0 in league play.
In the opener, junior infielder Mahalia Gibson gave Southeastern an early 2-0 lead with her first home run as a Lady Lion. Junior Rachel Hayes (3-5) maintained the lead until ACU scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally for a 3-2 victory. SLU stole eight bases in the loss, as junior outfielder Maddie Edmonston, junior outfielder Kinsey Nichols and Gibson stole two bases each.
ACU carried that momentum into the nightcap, as the Wildcats scored seven runs in the second inning on the way to a 7-0 victory. Abilene Christian pitcher Sidney Holman (7-3) limited the Lady Lions to singles by Nichols, junior second baseman Grace DeLee and freshman designated player Mattie Ort. Freshman Ali McCoy threw four shutout innings of relief to help the Lady Lions avoid a mercy rule loss.
Southeastern will look to avoid the series sweep with the set wraps up with a 12 p.m. contest. Live stats, provided by ACU, will be accessible on the softball schedule page at www.LionSports.net.
Game One – Abilene Christian 3, Southeastern Louisiana 2
Southeastern took the lead against Holman in the top of the first inning. Edmonston led off the game with a single and two outs later, Gibson powered a 3-2 offering over the left field fence to stake SLU to a 2-0 lead.
The Lady Lions had a chance to pad the lead in the second inning. Senior third baseman Mychal Truxillo and sophomore shortstop Jaquelyn Ramon put a pair on with two outs, but Holman recovered to strike out Nichols to keep the deficit at 2-0.
ACU cut into the lead in the bottom of the second inning. On the first pitch of the frame, Brianna Barnhill hammered a home run to pull the Wildcats within one, 2-1.
Hayes deftly pitched out of jams over the next four innings, stranding seven runners over that stretch to keep SLU in front. Meanwhile, ACU reliever Hannah Null (5-9) threw five no-hit innings of relief to keep the Lady Lions from pulling away.
Braegan Hamilton and Peyton Hedrick both reached to open the bottom of the seventh inning for the Wildcats. One out later, Holly Neese singled home Hamilton to tie the game. Tori Poullard then lifted a fly ball deep enough to left to score Hedrick for the game-winning run.
SLU – 200 000 0 – 2 2 2 (9-12, 0-1 SLC)
ACU – 010 000 2 – 3 6 1 (11-12, 1-0 SLC)
Rachel Hayes and Whitney Sullivan. Sidney Holman, Hannah Null (3) and Kaleigh Singleton. W – Null (5-9). L – Hayes (3-5). HR – SLU: Mahalia Gibson (1); ACU: Brianna Barnhill (3). 2B – ACU: Kaleigh Singleton (3). T – 1:56. A – 217.
Game Two – Abilene Christian 7, Southeastern Louisiana 0
After Holman and SLU junior Lacey Hill (4-4) matched zeroes in the first inning, Abilene Christian blew the game open in the bottom of the second inning.
In the frame, 11 Wildcats came to the plate. ACU collected six hits and took advantage of three SLU errors in the inning to take a commanding 7-0 lead.
Southeastern’s only real threat came in the top of the third inning. Freshman catcher Brennan Bourgeois and Ramon drew consecutive walks to open the inning, but Holman recovered to keep SLU off the board.
Despite pitching with a huge deficit, McCoy scattered two hits in four shutout inning of relief for the Lady Lions in the loss.
SLU – 000 000 0 – 0 3 4 (9-13, 0-2 SLC)
ACU – 070 000 x – 7 8 0 (12-12, 2-0 SLC)
Lacey Hill, Alley McDonald (2), Ali McCoy (3) and Brennan Bourgeois. Sidney Holman and Blair Clayton. W – Holman (7-3). L – Hill (4-4). 2B – ACU: Holly Neese (2), Kaleigh Singleton (4). T – 1:44. A – 217.