Lions Split Home Series with Pioneers


Ryan Scott, Sports Editor

What has been an up and down inaugural season for the Lions’ softball team continues with the Lions taking two out of four against the Texas Woman’s University Pioneers last weekend.

The Lions, who like other Texas teams, had their schedules hit hard with inclement weather at the start of conference play, have finally been able to get some valuable conference play completed in recent weeks. After securing a morale-boosting victory against then No. 1-ranked West Texas A&M last weekend, the Lions headed back to Commerce for a four-game series against the Pioneers.

The first day saw the Lions pitching steal the show. In a 2-1 game one loss, it was a hard fought pitcher’s duel was waged between the Lions’ Courtney Moore and the Pioneer’s Tori Bice. Moore only gave up four hits and two runs in a complete game of work, but her performance was not enough to get the job done, as the Lions managed five hits and were walked six times, but stranded 11 runners on base as a team, only pushing one run across.

After the defeat, the Lions’ pitching continued a strong performance as Selena Rima pitched a complete game three-hitter, also giving up no runs. The Lion offense awoke from their slumber, as the first three batters walked, which set up a golden opportunity for Aundria Romero, who slammed a pitch over the wall for the second grand slam in Lions history. The Lions continued to push runs across throughout the match, which led to the game being called in the fifth inning due to the run rule and an 8-0 win.

On day two of the series, offense was in full swing, as the first game saw more runs scored than the previous two games combined. After going into the sixth inning down 5-8, the Lions bared their teeth and struck for an 11-run inning, causing the game to be called due to the run rule for the second game in a row, giving the Lions a 16-8 victory.

Game two was a see-saw affair as the Pioneers jumped to an early lead, only to see the Lions storm ahead. The Pioneers regained the lead and held a five-run advantage going into the final inning. The Lions were determined to come away with a win and began to mount a comeback. In an inning that saw the Pioneers make two errors, the Lions put four across the plate to come within one run of the lead. It was not to be, however, as the Lions were silenced and forced to take an 11-10 loss. The Lions committed five errors in the contest.

With the series over, the Lions find themselves with a record of 18-16 on the season. Their 7-7 record in the Lone Star Conference puts them in fifth place. Even with some recent troubles, the Lions have made a home out of John Cain Family Field, garnering a 13-5 home record.

Looking ahead, the Lions will now travel to square off against the Tarleton State Texanns. The Texanns currently sit directly behind the Lions at sixth in the conference standings with an 18-14 overall record and a 5-5 conference record. This will be the first meeting ever between the two teams, although Tarleton State did make an early season trip to Commerce to participate in the Lion Classic Tournament, but the two teams did not face each other.

The Texanns are led by junior Katelyn Conlee, who is currently hittig .380, as well as 34 RBI. Haley Freyman leads the pitching staff with a 14-8 record and an ERA of 2.80. She is also seventh in the league in strikeouts with 59.

The Texas A&M University – Commerce Lions softball team will face the Tarleton State Texanns at the Tarleton State Softball Complex in Stephenville. Games will be held on Friday, April 3 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., and on Saturday, April 4, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.