ABILENE, Texas – Abilene Christian scored 10 runs in the sixth inning to rally past Southeastern Louisiana for a 12-5 victory in the series finale Saturday afternoon at Poly Wells Field.
Southeastern fell to 9-14 overall and 0-3 in Southland Conference play. The host Wildcats ran their record to 13-12 overall and 3-0 in league action.
For the second straight day, junior infielder Mahalia Gibson homered for the Lady Lions. Freshman designated player Mattie Ort led SLU with two hits, while senior third baseman Mychal Truxillo drove in a run for Southeastern.
The Lady Lions took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Junior outfielder Kalyn Watts doubled, then scored on an RBI single to give SLU the early advantage.
ACU answered with an unearned run in the bottom of the second inning. Brianna Barnhill doubled to lead off the inning and later scored on a throwing error by Gibson to knot the score at 1-1.
Southeastern threatened in its half of the third inning. Junior second baseman Grace DeLee drew a walk, then Ort singled to put a pair of runners on. Hannah Null recovered to retire Gibson to keep the score deadlocked.
The Wildcats took their first lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Peyton Hedrick doubled to lead off the frame and eventually came home on a sacrifice fly by Casey Huff to give Abilene Christian a 2-1 lead.
Southeastern answered in the top of the fifth inning. Sophomore catcher Whitney Sullivan walked, sophomore shortstop Jaquelyn Ramon reached on a fielder’s choice and Ort walked to load the bases. That set up Gibson to clear the bases with a grand slam over the centerfield fence to put the Lady Lions up, 5-2.
The Lady Lions would maintain the lead until the bottom of the sixth inning. After ACU loaded the bases with two outs, SLU freshman Tanner Wright gave up a walk to Kaleigh Singleton to force in another run. Junior Rachel Hayes came in and promptly walked Blair Clayton and Baylee Travers to tie the game.
Freshman Ali McCoy came in to replace Hayes and was promptly greeted by RBI singles from Taylor Brown and Braegan Hamilton. Hedrick then chased McCoy from the game, clearing the bases with a three-run home run. Freshman Alley McDonald in McCoy’s place and gave up a solo home run to Brianna Barnhill to give the Wildcats a 12-5 advantage.
Sidney Holman (8-3) gave up a two-out single to Ort in the top of the seventh inning, but closed out the win by retiring Gibson to complete the series sweep.
Southeastern will be back in action on Tuesday, traveling to Ole Miss for a 6 p.m. non-conference contest.
SLU – 010 040 0 – 5 6 1 (9-14, 0-3 SLC)
ACU – 010 10(10) x – 12 8 0 (13-12, 3-0 SLC)
Caitlyn VanHemelryck, Tanner Wright (4), Rachel Hayes (6), Ali McCoy (6), Alley McDonald (6) and Whitney Sullivan. Hannah Null, Sidney Holman (5) and Blair Clayton. W – Holman (8-3). L – Wright (1-1). HR – SLU: Mahalia Gibson (2); ACU: Peyton Hedrick (8), Brianna Barnhill (4). 2B – SLU: Kalyn Watts (3); ACU: Peyton Hedrick (2), Brianna Barnhill (4). T – 1:44. A – 256.