The Abilene Christian softball team could not surmount a comeback after No. 8 West Texas A&M scored four runs in the first inning at this past weekend’s Lone Star Conference championship.
The team left the LSC this past weekend for the last time losing 1-4. Senior starting pitcher Caitlyn Crain pitched perfect with five scoreless innings after the first, but the wildcat offense could not get the timely hits they needed.
“I tip my hat off to the team; they battled like they have all year never giving up, but we’re going to carry on and get better,” said head coach Bobby Reeves.
The team got on base each inning throughout the game, but could not capitalize when the time was right. In the third and sixth ‘Cats had runners on third in scoring position, but could not place the ball in a gap to plate their chances.
Coach Reeves was pleased with Crain’s effort on the circle pitching her last game as a Wildcat with four strikeouts including sending her last sixteen batters to retirement.
“You know she gave up four runs in the first inning, but settled down and took care of the batters the rest of the game,” said Reeves.
It’s an end of an era as the Wildcats leave D-II and the LSC conference, but the ‘Cats will come back next year with some great recruits in attempt to replace four seniors. Leadoff hitter and highest batting average on the team in Keanna Winkfield, shortstop Sara Vaughn and two of the LSC’s best pitchers in Crain and Shelby Hall.
“Caitlyn and Shelby both have done a great job. Caitlyn has come in throwing in some big time games and third in the conference in strikeouts. Shelby helped keep the ball on the ground all year for those easy outs as well,” said Reeves.
“It’s going to be hard to replace those four, but we’re going to carry on and replace them as best we can.”
The Wildcats announced four all-Lone Star Conference selections. The four are listed below:
1. Centerfielder Keanna Winkfield
2. Designated hitter Lyndi Smith
3. Shortstop Sara Vaughn, who also made ACU’s all-academic team
4. Pitcher Caitlyn Crain.