SOFTBALL: YellowJackets defeat Hardin-Simmons, Howard Payne at ASC Crossover
FARMER'S BRANCH, Texas – The LeTourneau softball team pulled off two thrilling victories in the first day of the American Southwest Conference Crossover Tournament on Friday.
The YellowJackets needed extra frames to take down Hardin-Simmons, as LeTourneau edged the Cowgirls 3-2 in the bottom of the tenth inning.
After nine complete innings, each team was permitted to place a runner on second base due to the international tiebreaker. The Jackets placed Jerrica Cepak on second base, who then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt Kirsten Warner. Ashley McPhail then knocked a sacrifice fly to deep centerfield, allowing Cepak to come home with the game-winning run.
Kelsie Mercer-Stephenson pitched all 10 innings for the YellowJackets, striking out five batters and scattering eight hits. She improved her season record to 6-0 with the victory.
The Jackets pounded out 12 hits against Hardin-Simmons, with Kali Behrans and Juliana Tuel collecting three hits apiece. Christin Mickelboro, Kayla Blucher and Sara Whitehead knocked two base hits apiece.
Mickelboro, who added an RBI against Hardin-Simmons, saved her best performance of Friday for the nightcap against Howard Payne. HPU had led throughout the game before Mickelboro's three-run home run to deep centerfield gave LeTourneau a 6-5 lead. The Jackets went on to win the game by that margin.
The blast was the second of two home runs LeTourneau players hit during the game. With Howard Payne leading 3-0 in the bottom of the third, Behrans knocked a home run to left field to put LeTourneau on the board.
Taylor Thibodeaux pitched 4 2/3 innings of relief to pick up the victory over Howard Payne. It was the first by a LeTourneau pitcher other than Mercer-Stephenson over an NCAA opponent this season.
LeTourneau won its fourth consecutive game and improved to 8-2 on the season.
The Jackets return to action Saturday when they resume competition at the Crossover Tournament. LeTourneau meets Mary Hardin-Baylor at 12:30 p.m., and will conclude the tournament against Schreiner at 5:30 p.m.