The softball team improved to 16-17 overall and 10-5 in the Southland Conference after defeating University of the Incarnate Word in all three games this weekend.
The first game ended with a 5-2 win for the Wildcats. Freshman Miranda Herron started off the game with an RBI double in the second to put ACU on the scoreboard. Senior Demi McNulty also recorded an RBI in the second inning on a fielding error by the Cardinal’s shortstop. Sophomore Peyton Hedrick furthered ACU’s lead by homering over the right center wall in the third. Hedrick also scored an RBI double in the fourth before Incarnate Word finally recorded a run on an RBI single in the fifth, making the final score 5-2.
Redshirt sophomore Hannah Null pitched a complete game with one walk, two strikeouts, and allowed two runs on five hits.
The second game ended in a 6-3 win for ACU. Senior Casey-May Huff started the game and put in 4.2-innings of work, giving up eight hits and three runs, earning her third win of the season. Null finished the game, pitching 2.1-innings and allowing one hit and striking out three.
Sophomore Brianna Barnhill started off the game with a two-run homer in the first and McNulty singled in the second, allowing junior Kaleigh Singleton to score. The Cardinals managed to score in the third on a fielding error, but the Wildcats answered in the bottom of the third with an RBI sacrifice fly by Hedrick. Incarnate scored again in the fourth and fifth, bringing the score to 4-3. Hedrick recorded an RBI single in the fifth and Herron scored the final run on an illegal pitch to finish the game 6-3.
The final game on Saturday ended 7-4 for the Wildcats, starting with a three-run homer by Barnhill in the first inning. Herron scored on a throwing error in the second, but the Cardinals came back in the third to put some runs on the board with RBI singles, making the score 4-3. In the fourth, McNulty and junior Cara Hoover were able to score when Hedrick singled, bringing the score to 6-3 before Herron hit an RBI sacrifice fly in the fifth. Incarnate scored one more time in the seventh before the game ended, making the final score 7-4.
Freshman Allison Turner started the game and pitched 2.2-innings and gave up three runs before Null came in from the bullpen. Null put in 4.1-innings of work, gave up one run on three hits and struck out five. Her season record is now 9-8.
Barnhill and Hedrick carried ACU offensively throughout the series. Barnhill went 2-for-9 with two home runs and five runs batted in over the three games, while Hedrick added six RBIs, a double and a 5-for-10 average from the plate.
Null was the Wildcat’s catalyst on the mound. While pitching in every game of the series, she gave up nine hits in 13.2 innings pitched while allowing two runs and striking out 10. She picked up two wins and a save against the Cardinals.
The Wildcats will take a break from the Southland Conference on Tuesday to play a doubleheader at home against Hardin-Simmons at 6 and 8 p.m.