Lady Lions stumble in extra-innings to Northwood
Three-run HR spoils solid pitching effort by Lee
Coach Grant announces schedule change involving ranked teams
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WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- After rally from a two-run deficit to force extra innings, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University softball team surrendered four runs in the eighth to fall to Northwood University, 7-3, on Tuesday.
The visiting Knights swept the doubleheader and the season series from SAGU by taking the first game, 15-2.
Northwood improved their overall record to 8-19, with half of their wins coming against the Lady Lions. They are 5-3 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.
SAGU stumbled to 6-26 with their 13th consecutive defeat. The Pride has a 1-17 ledger in the SAC.
The Lady Lions collected just 11 hits in the two games combined, with Amber Gignac (Houston, Tx / Homeschool) and Kelsey Coburn (Lewisville, Tx / Lewisville HS) each rapping three apiece.
Both Heather Wyatt (Lake Jackson, Tx / Brazoswood HS) and Feliciana Maldonado (Victorville, Cal / Victor Valley HS) had two.
Pitcher Hannah Lee (Hardinsburg, Ky / Breckinridge HS) had a single in the second game. The rest of team combined to go 0-for-29 in the two games.
Down 2-0 in the second game, the Lions fought back to tie it at 3-3 in the fifth.
Lee, a freshman right-hander, went the distance. She scattered twelve hits and, of the seven runs charged to her, only four were earned. Three infield errors, two of them dropped pop-ups, were costly.
She walked two and struck out three. It was the fifth time this spring she has pitched seven or more innings in a game.
Lee, a workhorse for the Breckinridge High School (Harned, Ky) Tigers as a senior, leads SAGU with three wins. Her 5.59 earned run average is over three full runs better than any pitcher on the team.
A year ago she capped her prep career by firing 124 of her team's 155 innings. Lee, who now wears the same jersey number (7) as she did as a Tiger, had a 9-7 record and a sterling 1.86 ERA.
Twice Northwood sent runners home in the middle innings in a bid to take the lead. Both times Team Purple fired relays to the plate where Wyatt applied the brakes with a catch and tag.
Coburn ripped a double to the fence in left-center, advanced to third when Wyatt lifted a fly to deep centerfield, then raced home on a groundout by Lynette Riggs (Leupp, Az / Flagstaff HS).
SAGU did not get a hit in the sixth, seventh or eighth frames.
In the eighth the Knights took advantage of a bunt that SAGU misplayed that put baserunners on the corner.
Two batters later, senior Christine Blankenship, batting last in the order with only twelve at bats this season, lifted a high, wind-aided, 3-run homer to straight-away center to win the game.
Bethany Krock (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian) turned in a pair of fine catches in her debut since joining the team after the basketball season finished two weeks ago. Gignac snared a sinking liner in centerfield in the second game.
Two players saw plenty of infield action without a single error, Maldonado at shortstop and Coburn, the anchor of the infield at third base.
Trading one ranked opponent for another
Head Coach Tim Grant has announced a change in the schedule.
In order to make-up a rained out doubleheader against a conference opponent, St. Gregory’s University, the team was forced to cancel an April 3rd twinbill at No. 33 Our Lady of the Lake University.
In its place the Lady Lions will travel to Shawnee, Oklahoma to play two games versus St. Greg’s. The Cavaliers are 23-3 and ranked No. 13.
SAGU plays four-game series at MACU, Fri / Sat
The Lady Lions will be back in action this weekend when they travel to Oklahoma City for four games against Mid-America Christian University (15-10 / 3-4 in SAC).
A Friday doubleheader begins at 2:00pm. The Lady Evangels will host another twinbill on Saturday at noon. The games will take place at Jack Allen Field, which is 210-feet to all fences.
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