The ACU softball team (9-5) struggled this weekend at the start of the NFCA D-II Leadoff Classic, but they found themselves sitting pretty by the end of the tournament.
On Friday, the team had no problem getting on base, but they couldn’t seem to find their way home. The ‘Cats fell short to the Antelopes of Grand Canyon University 5-2, and the Sharks of Nova Southeastern 5-3.
The ‘Cats had many runners in scoring position in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings versus the Sharks, but couldn’t quite capitalize.
The experienced Peyton Mosley (2-2) did not start the day off as she expected, but she finished as usual. By the bottom of the second inning, the Sharks, had a 5-0 lead. Mosley’s pitching was superb for the latter five innings. Her defense stepped up when they didn’t let a single runner touch third base the rest of the game.
The Wildcat offense has struggled the past few games, but after recording 11 hits against the Sharks, they couldn’t quite make the comeback they hoped for.
Junior, Courtney Flanary finished Friday going 3 for 4. Lyndi Smith, Madison Buckley and Keanna Winkfield held their own on the offensive side as well.
Saturday was a different story for the Wildcats. The pitching of senior Caitlyn Crain and Mosley left batters confused.
Crain pitched her first complete-game shutout of the season against the Rangers of Regis University, 6-0. She later recorded her first save against the Chargers of New Haven.
“It feels good to have a good full game under my belt,” Crain said. “Our defense also played really good that game, and our hitting came around great.”
Mosley struck out a season-high seven and walked only one batter against the Chargers. However, the Chargers recorded five runs against Mosley in the four innings she pitched. Crain left the Chargers scoreless until the seventh inning when she let a few hits earn two runs.
ACU’s offense was unstoppable as they recorded eight hits ending the game 11-7.
The team defeated No.6 in the nation Minnesota-State Mankato Stompers 5-2 and California State University, San Bernardino 8-3 on Sunday. Mosley started against the Stompers pitching a complete game.
“It was a tough team to face, but I just worked each batter one pitch at a time, and knew that my defense was behind me,” Mosley said.
The team hopes to carry over their winning ways against regional rival Texas-Permian Basin of the Heartland Conference for a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday.
“I think we will definitely carry our success over to next weekend,” Crain said. “I think as a team we’re starting to mesh really well, and see our potential.”