ACU was able to keep all but one game close, as they played five games in three days to open up the season. With the exception of the loss to Texas State, ACU was outscored 23-17 over the weekend and never lost by more than two runs.
The Wildcats lost a close 6-5 game to DePaul University and 13-1 to Texas State on Friday in an opening day double-header. Redshirt sophomore Hannah Null started Friday morning’s game against DePaul and gave up 4 runs and 4 walks in 3.1 innings.
Sophomores Baylee Travers and Brianna Barnhill scored one each and freshman Donelle Johnson hit a solo home run in her first collegiate at bat in the second inning, giving the Wildcats a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning.
“Hitting a home run in my first at bat felt amazing and it’s a once in a lifetime feeling,” Johnson said. “Alyson Bishoff was talking me up and telling me to just relax and do my thing right before I went up to hit for the first time and it really helped. Also I truly give God all the credit for a great first homerun as well as a second one, I pray before each at bat and put my outcome in His hands.”
DePaul came back in the bottom of the fourth to score 4 runs, forcing ACU to bring in freshman pitcher Allison Turner to relieve Null. Bishoff hit a two-run bomb in the fifth, pulling the Wildcats ahead 5-4, but DePaul won the game with a walk-off run off an ACU error in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Texas State started the first inning Friday night by scoring 3 runs, then followed with 5 runs in the second and 5 runs in the fourth. Sophomore Peyton Hedrick scored the Wildcat’s only run with a solo home run in the fourth inning.
Null started the game against Northwestern and managed to strikeout five and give up only one walk in 7 innings. The two runs came from Hedrick’s home run in the fourth and Johnson’s home run in the sixth, but that wasn’t enough to stop Northwestern from picking up runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to roll to a win.
The Wildcats scored two runs against Oklahoma State early in the first inning, but lost the lead in the third and never regained it, though ACU did score again in the fifth and sixth innings with several RBIs.
The Wildcats fell 4-3 in the last game to Texas State. ACU gave up two runs in bottom of the first but came back in the top of the second to tie it up and took the lead 3-2 in the third inning. They held the lead until the seventh, when Texas State managed to tie it 3-3, and the Wildcats lost the lead in the eighth by giving up an RBI single.
“We played in a very tough tournament this weekend,”head coach Bobby Reeves said. “We had chances to win 4 of the 5 games we played. We will keep working and hopefully learn to win some of these close games against great competition.”
ACU’s record is now 0-5. The Wildcats will take on Louisiana Tech, Belmont University, Mississippi Valley State and Texas State Friday and Saturday in Ruston, Louisiana.