SOFTBALL: YellowJackets open 2011 with a pair of wins at Huston-Tillotson
By Alan Wiederhold
LETU Sports Information
AUSTIN, Texas – The LeTourneau softball team opened its 2011 season Saturday with a doubleheader sweep of Huston-Tillotson.
The YellowJackets swept the series with scores of 9-4 and 11-3.
Freshman first baseman Sara Whitehead (Coppell, Texas/Coppell) highlighted the offensive explosion for the Jackets by going 5-for-8 with six RBIs in her first two games as a collegian.
Alex Flanagan (Nacogdoches, Texas/Nacogdoches) was a star at the plate and in the pitcher's circle Saturday afternoon. The junior went 2-for-4 with 4 RBIs in the opener, and then followed that performance by picking up the win in the second game.
The YellowJacket bats exploded in the fourth inning of game one as LeTourneau plated six runs during the frame. Flanagan (pictured) led the attack with a bases-loaded double that scored three runs. Both of her hits in the game were doubles.
Christin Mickelboro (Longview, Texas/Longview) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Whitehead went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Anna Winter (Southlake, Texas/Carroll) went 3-for-4 and scored two runs.
Senior hurler Kelsie Mercer-Stephenson (Baytown, Texas/Sterling) started and pitched six complete innings while allowing only one run and five hits. She struck out six Ram batters in the game, and didn't allow a walk.
The YellowJackets picked up right where they left off in game two, scoring 10 of their 11 runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Whitehead's bat provided plenty of ping in the late game as she went 3-for-4 with five RBIs. She knocked consecutive two-out doubles in the fourth and fifth innings, driving in a pair of runs both times.
Flanagan and Chloe Cooper (Forney, Texas/Forney) each collected two base hits in game two. Flanagan also picked up the victory after pitching 4 1/3 innings while yielding only two earned runs and two hits.
Freshman pitcher Taylor Thibodeaux (Angleton, Texas/Angleton) was effective in relief, allowing only two walks and striking out two over 2 2/3 innings.
Roxanne Rodriguez absorbed the loss for Huston-Tillotson in the opener, while Lynda Leyva took the loss in game two.
The YellowJackets return to action next Saturday when they travel to Sherman to face Austin College in a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
The Jackets will get several looks at the Kangaroos this month, as Austin College will be in the opponent in two of LeTourneau's four games at Lear Park in Longview Feb. 25 and 26. The Jackets will host Austin College and Hardin-Simmons during the three-team event.