MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The University of Dallas softball team battled hard but dropped two games on Sunday in the second day of the Huntingdon College Tournament.
Playing as the home team in a neutral site matchup against Mount St. Joseph in the morning, the Crusaders came back from down 4-0 to eventually knot things in the seventh. The Lions answered with three runs in the eighth inning to lift them and keep their season-opening weekend unblemished.
The Crusaders scored five runs in the second game against the host Huntingdon College after being blanked yesterday. Both sides had eight hits, but three errors costed the visitors as the pitching was charged five earned runs. Dallas had gone on top 3-2 with all its runs coming in the fourth, but immediately allowed the Hawks to gain control with two in the bottom half. Four sixth-inning runs pushed the game out of reach.
(Game 1 Information) (8 innings)
Team scores: Mount St. Joseph (7), Dallas (5)
Team Records: Mount St. Joseph (3-0), Dallas (3-4)
Pitcher Records: W) Kauf (1-0), L) Rasmussen (2-2)
Two runs in the first two innings put the Lions on top right away. Brook Otto doubled tor right field and got to third on a throwing error. Alehia Tucker scored on the two-bagger, and then Savannah Sturgill pushed a sacrifice bunt down to get Otto home. The duo were involved an inning later, picking up RBI hits.
The Crusaders threatened in the second inning and got a run back on a Madison Coutts (Tampa, Fla.) bases-loaded walk, but that was all they could get. In the next frame, UD closed the gap with a pair of runs. Karina Campo (Georgetown, Texas) and Mel Savala (Bryan, Texas) singled on run scoring plays. Caitlyn Stevenson (Henderson, Nev.) scored on Campo's RBI, and a fielding error allowed Blyss Johnson (Wells, Texas) to score from second. Campo and Savala advanced an extra base but could not get any further.
After two quick outs in the seventh, the Crusaders rallied with singles by Campo and Savala. Pinch runner Carah Delao (League City, Texas) raced home from second on a single from Bri Torres (Cypress, Texas) to right field. A good stop by the MSJ's Brianna Kauf on a batted ball by Coutts up the middle kept the ball from creating trouble and led to extra softball.
Dallas would not be able to keep the opposition off the board with three runs coming on one hit from Tucker. The international tiebreaker rule was being used this game. Mount St. Joseph advanced Kirsten Jeffries to third on a sacrifice. After a walk, Gracie Woodyard would reach on a dropped fly by the infield that loaded the bases. A shallow fly to center recorded the second out, but then Tucker had the damaging knock to give her four ribbies overall.
The top three in the Lions' lineup combined for all seven RBI.
Mackenzie Tano (Wylie, Texas) singled to left but that was all the Crusaders mustered their last at bat, as they left two on which was a theme all game. Dallas had a runner on base every inning.
Dallas totaled a season-high 15 hits but could not bring enough runs in on the day, as it stranded 15. This included three in the second and sixth innings where the team combined for one run.
All nine starters in the lineup reached base and eight had at least one hit. Julie Duenas (Houston, Texas) and Stevenson led the team with 3-for-5 performances. Tano, Campo, and Savala also had multi-hit games. None of UD's hits were for extra bases.
Paige Rasmussen (El Campo, Texas) hurled 6.1 innings of relief. She allowed no earned runs on three hits and walked three, while keeping the Lions at bay until Dallas forced extras.
Both teams committed four errors.
(Game 2 Information)
Team scores: Dallas (5), Huntingdon (8)
Team Records: Dallas (3-5), Huntingdon (6-3)
Pitcher Records: W) McCarty (1-2), L) Campo (1-3), S) Melton (1)
It was another early scoring game in the second matchup with Huntingdon tallying a run in the first and second innings. McKenzie Ridgway singled to left to score Alyssa Singleterry. A wild pitch allowed Caitlyn Caffee to cross the plate in the second.
Dallas was limited to one hit through three innings, but broke out for a trio of runs in the fourth on three hits. Liz Cordova (Oklahoma City, Okla.) doubled to left center to score Coutts who had singled to lead off the frame. Duenas had followed with a single before the sophomore center fielder's RBI hit. The two were in scoring position, as Stevenson lofted a sacrifice fly to center for the second out. Johnson reached on an error by shortstop to allow the Crusaders to lead for the only time between the two games.
It was Huntingdon's lone error, while the Crusaders committed three.
One of those errors came in the home fourth as the Hawks reclaimed the lead the rest of the way. Madison Perryman singled up the middle for the tying RBI. She would score later on a defensive miscue by short.
The other two errors occurred in a huge four-run sixth that extended the advantage for the home team.
The Crusaders followed with three hits and a pair of runs in their last turn to bat, but the deficit was too much. Coutts and Duenas had the RBI hits.
Most of the damage was done at the top of the order for Dallas, as Coutts, Duenas, and Cordova combined for six hits with two apiece. Torres and Savala had the other knocks, with Torres ripping the team's other double.
Campo was saddled with the loss in five innings. She allowed all eight hits, five earned runs, and walked one. Haley Henson (Chandler, Texas) worked the final frame without allowing a hit or earned run.
Mallory McCarty earned the win with 4.1 innings. Lauren Melton picked up the save. Both pitchers for the Hawks were tagged for two earned runs and four hits. McCarty had the lone strikeout by either staff.
Dallas takes two weeks off before beginning Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) play at defending conference regular season and tournament champions, Texas Lutheran University.