By Jared Fields, Sports Writer
The ACU softball season started this past week. The Wildcats began the season with a double-header on Feb. 3, against Colorado State-Pueblo. ACU split the games winning 7-1, and dropped the last one 10-5. Feb. 8 the Cats hosted Midwestern State University for another double-header. The Wildcats swept the games, winning 2-1, and 9-4.
In the season opener against CSU-Pueblo, the Wildcats shined as the home team put up seven runs on 10 hits behind a complete game by junior pitcher Jennifer Leal. Leal allowed only one run on two hits as she led the Cats to an opening day win.
Junior Jade Wilson added the run support with a 3-run home run in the fifth inning followed by junior Daisy Barcena’s solo home run.
The second game didn’t go as well for the Wildcats. The Cats gave up a fourth inning grand slam that put the visiting team up 9-3 at that point. The grand slam came after an error that could have ended the inning. After that, the Cats couldn’t mount a strong comeback, and lost 10-5. ACU hosted Midwestern State on February 8 for two games. In the first game, senior Valerie Malkinson put the Cats up with a solo home run in the 2nd inning. In the 6th, MSU responded with a run of their own to tie the game. The score remained tied until the 10th, when Ashley Whittenburg hit the game winning run in, scoring Daisy Barcena. Jennifer Leal received the win as she pitched a 10-inning complete game. Leal allowed one run, unearned, on 9 hits to lead the Wildcats to the win.
The second game saw a little more scoring from both teams. Sophomore Allison Crouse received the win. Crouse threw a complete game, allowing four runs, two earned. The Wildcats showed some power in the game as they hit 3 home runs in the game.
In the 4th, Ashley Whittenburg hit a 2-run HR for the Cats first points in the game. Then in the 5th, Valerie Malkinson hit a 3-run HR, and Katie Bryan also hit a 3-run HR in the sixth to lead a big scoring attack in the 9-4 victory.
The Wildcats are now 3-1 for the year with their next game scheduled for Friday against St. Mary’s in San Antonio. The Cats’ next home game will be Wednesday against Panhandle State at 1 p.m.