The No. 24 ACU softball team concluded its spring break in victorious fashion Saturday in Stephenville with a 7-2 win over Tarleton State, finishing with a 4-3 record over the week. One game was cancelled due to inclement weather.
“We played a lot of softball last week,” assistant coach Ashley Reeves said. “Our girls played their hearts out all week, and that’s all we can ask of them. There were some definite highs and lows, but we are content with where we are and anxious to get back on the field.”
In their 7-2 win Saturday, the ACU offense went off, accumulating 13 hits, including two homeruns by junior Kimberly Briggs. Those homeruns were her fifth and sixth of the season.
“That was a great way to end the games over spring break,” Briggs said. “I was just looking for pitches to hit, and was lucky to put the bat on the ball.”
Sophomore Courtney Flanary also went yard for the ‘Cats. The solo homerun was her third of the season and was a part of ACU’s four-run seventh inning.
Briggs hit her first homer in the fourth, giving ACU a 2-0 lead. She hit her second in the seventh to put ACU up 5-0.
“It seems like Kim is seeing beach balls come out of the pitchers’ hands right now,” Reeves said. “She is just clicking on all cylinders right now at the plate. That is just a testament to all of the work she puts in during practice.”
Starter Peyton Mosley, sophomore, had the TexAnns at her beck and call all night, scattering six hits and striking out six in the complete game effort.
On Friday, the TexAnns tamed the Wildcats, taking both games of the doubleheader, 7-1 in the first game and 6-4 in the nightcap.
Tarleton pitcher Samantha Swanda silenced the ACU bats in the first game, as she went the distance and struck out nine. ACU’s lone run came in the third when Keanna Winkfield singled in Madison Buckley.
“We didn’t make any adjustments at the plate, and when you’re going against a great pitcher like that, you’re going to pay,” Reeves said. “We didn’t play our game.”
Starter Shelby Hall suffered her first loss of the year, giving up seven runs on ten hits.
In game two, Tarleton’s bats stayed hot. The TexAnns blasted three homeruns in the first two innings off of ACU starter Caitlyn Crain.
The TexAnns had a 4-0 lead after two innings, but the Wildcats quickly came alive in a desperate effort, scoring a pair of runs in the third and fifth. Three consecutive walks by TSU brought home the first two runs, and Briggs tied the game with a two-run homer in the fifth.
TSU’s Katie Welborn hit her third homerun of the game in the sixth, completing her 5-5, 5 RBI game, and ending the game at 6-4.
On Wednesday, ACU swept a non-conference doubleheader against St. Mary’s, winning both in walk-off fashion, 8-7 and 2-1.
ACU had its rally caps on in both, overcoming a 7-2 deficit in the first game and a 1-0 deficit in the second one.
In the first game, ACU scored four runs in the fourth to make the score 7-6. Briggs tied the game in the bottom of the sixth with a solo homerun to centerfield. Later in the inning, ACU loaded the bases and junior Sara Vaughn and provided the game winner when she reached on an error, allowing freshman Caylee Heller to cross the plate and cap the game.
In the second game, ACU and the Rattlers battled through four scoreless innings before a St. Mary’s single in the fifth broke the knotted score.
ACU answered though, through the bat of sophomore Kara Stutesman, who hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the inning to tie the score.
With a tie score in the bottom of the seventh, Vaughn came to the plate with one out and the bases loaded. She then belted a ball into the right centerfield gap to bring in the game-winning run.
Vaughn was the catalyst to the late game heroics Wednesday.
“Well, I was just looking to put the ball in play, and hopefully hit the ball to the right side of the field so that run could come home,” she said. “I knew I had a job to do, and was blessed that it turned out the way it did.”
ACU split with Texas Woman’s Sunday, losing the first game 4-3 and winning the latter one 11-7 at Wells Field.
In the opener, head coach Bobby Reeves and assistant Ashley Reeves were ejected for arguing a call, forcing Reeves’ husband Tanyan and volunteer assistant Missy Munoz to be at the helm.
The Wildcats led the first game 3-1 before the Pioneers tied the game in the top of the sixth on a two-run home run home run by Tiffany Weise.Â The Pioneers then took a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh on a solo home run to right-centerfield by Jordan Readicker.
With two outs and runners at second and third in the bottom of the seventh, Briggs was up with a chance to tie or win the game.Â But she was intentionally walked to load the bases and set up a force play at any base.
Sophomore Lyndi Smith homered earlier in the game for the Wildcats looped a 1-1 pitch toward second base. The ball snowconed in her glove and no call was made andÂ Keanna Winkfield apparently tied the score when she crossed the plate.
However, after TWU head coach Richie Bruister came out to appeal the play, the umpires gathered and determined that she had caught the ball, ending the game with TWU gaining a 4-3 win.Â Reeves didn’t like the call and argued extensively with the home-plate umpire about the reversal, earning an ejection and a two-game suspension.
In the second game, ACU’s trio of pitchers-Crain, Mosley and Hall- and Briggs led the ‘Cats to a win. Briggs and Vaughn each homered, as the ACU bats hit the gas early, scoring three in the first, three in the second and four in the fifth. Crain improved her record to 8-1 as she got the win.
The Wildcats (18-6, 4-4) will play a doubleheader at St. Mary’s Wednesday before hosting Texas A&M-Kingsville for a three-game series beginning Friday.