Lady Lions drop three to OLLU
Team hits .371 in the series
22 Stray 'Cats hindered scoring
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Opening weekend in the second softball season for the Lady Lions of Southwestern Assemblies of God University, which saw Our Lady of the Lake University sweep the series, witnessed improved play on the mound, in the field and at bat.
The results however, still couldn't prevent setbacks of 8-0, 16-2 and 11-2 to the Lady Saints from San Antonio.
In their inaugural season the Lions combined to hit just .197, which was last in the Red River Athletic Conference.
In three games against OLLU the Purple Pride rapped 26 hits in 70 at bats for an impressive .371 batting average. That figure would have easily led the RRAC in 2012.
(Team batting stats below)
The team struggled moving players across the plate evidenced by their 22 runners left on base. Hits were also scattered and limited to 23 singles.
A year ago the club’s average of 4.1 hits per game pales when compared to this weekend’s 8.7.
The Lady Lions too often strayed 'cats as the team ended innings with a runner on board in 14 of 18 frames. The bags were left filled on three occasions, including three consecutive innings.
The defense made a combined eight errors, another area of progress. OLLU committed five.
Three pitchers combined to allow 33 runs, with 30 of them earned. Translation, fewer errors and less walks than given away in 2012 made the Saints earn their runs. The pitchers allowed 13 walks and struck out eight opposing batters.
There were plenty of positives to draw from the three games.
The team will be back in action next weekend with a pair of doubleheaders in Moore, Oklahoma against Hillsdale College. The action will start at 1:00pm on Friday, February 15 and at noon on Saturday.
One of the Lady Lions wins last season came in a 5-2 triumph at Hillsdale.
Here is a list of highlights from the home series against OLLU, who went 28-18 in 2012.
Shannen Davis-Nance (Enid, Ok / Kremlin-Hillsdale HS) held Our Lady to just two runs until the fifth inning. The Saints tacked on three runs in both the fifth and sixth to win 8-0 on softball's eight-run (lead) mercy rule after five innings.
Nance allowed 12 hits, struck out four and did not issue a single walk.
SAGU collected five base hits and two walks.
Heather Wyatt (Lake Jackson, Tx / Brazoswood HS) went 2-for-2 and Kelsey Coburn (Lewisville, Tx / Lewisville HS) had a 2-for-3 game. Shortstop McKinlee Stokes (Pampa, Tx / Pampa HS) had a single and a walk.
The team advanced a runner (Coburn) as far as third base once, with two out in the fourth inning. The next batter struck out swinging to end the lone threat.
The Lady Halos erupted for nine runs on seven hits in the top of the first to set the stage for a 16-2 OLLU victory.
A pitching change slowed down the scoring, though seven more hits and nine walks in the next four innings eventually led to seven more runs.
SAGU had plenty of chances, thanks to 10 hits and three walks, but couldn’t deliver in the clutch. The team stranded two runners in the third and then left them loaded in both the fourth and fifth.
Pitcher Blayr Huff (Keller, Tx / Liberty Christian), who pitched the final four innings, had two hits in two trips to the plate.
Coburn, Cassandra Mata (Crystal City, Tx / Crystal City HS) and Iliana Jimenez (Crystal City, Tx / Crystal City HS) all produced two hits in three tries.
SAGU’s first run of the season was scored when Jimenez, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, came home on a single up the middle by Huff.
The final tally came in the bottom of the fifth. Coburn blasted a double to deep left with one out. She advanced to third when Nance grounded out to second. Jimenez ripped a shot to leftfield to knock in Coburn.
OLLU took control early with a five-spot in the top of the first, cashing in on four hits, a walk and an error. They scored in each of the final four innings to post an 11-2 triumph.
SAGU loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the first an infield single and two walks. They followed with back-to-back strike outs and a fielder’s choice to squander the chance to get back in the game.
The Lady Lions produced 16 base-runners on 11 hits and coaxed five walks. But they would score just twice. Single runs in the third and fourth drew them to within 6-2 before OLLU pulled away.
Team Lioness again filled the bases with no outs on a Stokes single and free passes to Ballard and Coburn. Mata’s fielder’s choice drove in one run. An infield single by Jimenez turned into a double play when Coburn tried to score from second and Mata was thrown out returning to second.
SAGU tacked on another run in the fourth. Poovey reached base on a walk, then stole second and third. Nance and Wyatt struck out before Huff stepped in as a pinch hitter.
The freshman crushed an RBI double down the leftfield line to score Poovey. Following an infield single by Stokes the rally ended. Huff was thrown out during an attempted steal of home.
Stokes had a 4-for-4 effort to lead the attack. Mata, at 2-for-4, was the only other player with more than one hit.
Nance went the distance in the circle. She surrendered 14 hits and nine earned runs. The sophomore walked just two and whiffed one and got 13 batters to ground out. Just one of 34 batters could manage a fly out.
The Lady Lions hope for better success next weekend when they take on a second straight Lady Saint team.
SAGU Lady Lions Batting Stats
|Blayr Huff, P||4||0||3||2||.750|
|McKinlee Stokes, SS||9||1||6||0||.667|
|Kelsey Coburn, 3B||8||1||5||0||.625|
|Cassandra Mata, CF||10||0||4||1||.400|
|Iliana Jimenez, LF||9||1||3||1||.333|
|Kasey Poovey, 1B||3||1||1||0||.333|
|Heather Wyatt, C||8||0||2||0||.250|
|Feliciano Maldonado, RF||4||0||1||0||.250|
|Shannen Davis-Nance, P||7||0||1||0||.143|
|Theresa Ballard, 2B||8||0||0||0||.000|
Notes: Huff, Davis-Nance and Coburn all have one double, while Poovey has two stolen bases, Maldonado one.