No. 12 A&M-Commerce softball extends win streak to five

Tyler McDonough, Senior Sports Reporter

Jodie Hill is all smiles after hitting a home run in Game 2 | Joseph Miller

By Tyler McDonough | Sr. Sports Reporter

The Texas A&M University-Commerce Lion softball team moved up two places to 12th in the latest NFCA coaches poll after extending their win streak to five games after sweeping Rogers State in two games at the John Cain Family Softball Complex on Tuesday.

The Lions defeated the Hillcats from Claremore, Ok. 2-0 in game one, and 7-1 in game two. The two wins were not LSC victories, but were indeed big regional wins against a good Rogers State squad.

Game one featured a pitching duel between A&M-Commerce’ Emily Otto (17-5) and Rogers State’s Andrea Morales (17-5), as both pitchers were looking for their 18th win of the season. Otto got things going early as she struck out two in the bottom of the first, and forced the Hillcats into a double play in inning two. After seven quick strikeouts from Morales, Madison Schaefer caught up with a fastball and launched a solo home run over the left field fence to get the Lions out in front 1-0 through two.

Otto kept things going the next few innings after Schaefer’s home run, but ran into some trouble in the fifth after allowing a double and two walks, but the calm and collected sophomore forced a foul out to get out of a bases loaded jam to keep the score at 1-0. The Lions added to their lead in the sixth after Jodie Hill laid down a bunt and beat the throw out for a single, but a wild throw that made its way into right field allowed Hill to make her way around all the bases to go up 2-0. Otto locked things down in the seventh to protect the lead and win 2-0. With the win Otto moved to 18-5 on the season, and the Lions improved to 26-9.

Game two featured Katie Dean (7-1) on the mound for the Lions and Edie Fairchild (0-1) for the Hillcats. Dean pitched a complete game and only gave up three hits as the Lions defeated the Hillcats 7-1 behind six strikeouts.

The Lions jumped out in front early 2-0 after Kinsie Hebler singled and Jodie Hill reached on a throwing error. Dean mowed down three in a row in the second inning, and in the bottom half of the second, Hill blasted a two-run home run to put the Lions up 4-0. In the bottom of third the Lions added two more runs, after Vanessa Avina stole second and third, and advanced home on a wild throw down to third. A few batters later, Kimber Neal walked in a run, and the Lions found themselves up 6-0 through three.

The Lions got another run across in the fourth inning as Bri Sims hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Hill. The Hillcats were able to get one run across with a solo home run in the sixth, but that was all she wrote as Dean finished up the game in the seventh to secure the victory.

With the two wins the Lions improve to 27-9 (13-5 LSC) on the season and sit two games back of A&M-Kingsville,ter  and one game back of West Texas A&M. Kingsville and WT play each other this weekend, and the Lions will head to San Angelo for a three game series against the Angelo State Rambells.

Photos by Joseph Miller