By Jared Fields, Sports Writer
The softball team won three of four games against Texas Woman’s University this weekend in the Lone Star South Division play. The women lost the first game by a close score and then won the last three games by convincing scores.
The Wildcats dropped the first game 3-1. Jennifer Leal threw seven innings and allowed only one run, but a couple of errors and only one late inning run kept the Wildcats out of the win column.
Softball coach Chantiel Wilson knew the first game wasn’t what her team is capable of doing.
“We came out a little flat the first game of the series, and we were not able to get a few key hits to drop in the outfield to make a difference in the game,” Wilson said.
The team wasn’t flat in the second game of the day. Ashley Whittenburg hit a first inning grand slam and led the Wildcats to an 8-0 win. Allison Crouse allowed only three hits in the win, and third baseman Valerie Mal-kinson added a three-run home run in the fourth inning.
Saturday’s action was highlighted by Jennifer Leal winning her 20th game of the year in the first game of the day. Leal threw for six innings and allowed only two runs for an 11-3 Wildcat win.
“Jennifer Leal has been there all year in terms of keeping us in every game she pitches,” Wilson said.
The Wildcats scored five runs in the first and second innings to jump out to an early lead. Valerie Malkinson and Daisy Barcena each had a home run in the first inning and Jessica Johnson had three RBI on the day for the team.
The last game of the series was more of the same for the Wildcats. Allison Crouse allowed one run, and the offense put eight runs on the board for an 8-1 Wildcat win. Freshman Johnson had a two-run home run in the fifth inning for the Wildcats.
Wilson was proud of Crouse’s performance this weekend too.
“Crouse came through this weekend pitching two great games, which we needed,” Wilson said.
This weekend the women will host defending national champion Angelo State in the final conference series of the year before the Lone Star Tournament. Angelo State is 11-1 in conference this year, and the Wildcats are 8-4. The Wildcats will need to win three games to force a tie in the division and a sweep to overtake the lead in the standings.
Coach Wilson and her players are looking forward to this opportunity, she said.
“The players have been working hard all year to put themselves in a position to get a chance to play for the south division title,” Wilson said.
The Wildcats will play two doubleheaders this weekend at Wells Field. Friday’s games wil begin at 5 p.m., and Saturday’s games will start at 1 p.m.