The Abilene Christian softball team split a midweek doubleheader Tuesday with Lone Star Conference rival Angelo State, winning the first game 8-4 and losing the second 7-2.
The Wildcats (26-11, 12-7) took advantage of a five-run first inning to beat the No. 12 Rambelles in game one, but dropped the nightcap, surrendering four unearned runs to Angelo State in the top of the seventh inning.
“We definitely have a lineup that can bust it loose at any time,” head coach Bobby Reeves said. “From top to bottom, the girls in our lineup are solid and can hit the ball. Our offense has been a strong suite for most of the season.”
In game one, ACU’s first four batters in the lineup reached base on singles. Sophomore Courtney Flanary’s single was the latter one, going over the Angelo State first baseman and scoring two runs. Junior Kim Briggs followed with a walk, which reloaded the bases. Senior Megan Brigance then stepped in and made it a 4-0 game with a single to center.
Outfielder Lyndi Smith capped the first inning with an RBI single, then singled and scored as a part of a three run fourth inning that gave ACU an 8-0 lead.
The Rambelles, however, began to slowly cut into the Wildcat lead in the fifth inning. A three-run monster homerun off the scoreboard in left field coupled with an RBI single by Kacie Easley cut the score in half to 8-4.
ACU starter Peyton Mosley (10-5) earned the win, despite surrendering four runs and ten hits in 5.1 innings pitched.
Caitlyn Crain relieved Mosley in the sixth, but came into contact with trouble in the seventh inning. ASU had two on base and one out, but Crain forced a pop out to catcher Erin Gilliland for the second out and a fly ball to end the game.
“What’s great about our pitching staff is we can all come into different situations and put our best foot forward,” Crain said. “Part of being a softball pitcher is being versatile, and all three of our girls do that well.”
Following her relief appearance, Crain started the second game and got off on the wrong foot. By the end of the third, ACU was down 3-0 due to a pair of homeruns early in the game.
The Wildcats responded in the third with an RBI single by Flanary, and then made it a one run game in the fifth thanks to a solo homerun by Lyndi Smith, her sixth of the season.
A long fly out to center by Briggs sparked the ACU dugout briefly, but nothing came of it, as the ASU centerfielder caught it at the warning track.
In the seventh, Crain retired the first two Rambelles in order, but a fielding error led to a walk, which led to a three run homerun by Lauren Smith, her second of the game. That roundtripper made it a 6-2 game, and ASU added another run on an RBI single later in the seventh.
ASU starter Claire Molina (18-4) started off the bottom of the seventh allowing a pinch-hit single to Sarah Martinez but proceeded to retire the next three Wildcats in order, securing the win.
The Wildcats will return to the diamond Friday as they start a three-game series against Eastern New Mexico. Game one is scheduled for 7 p.m. with a doubleheader Saturday starting at noon.