Four-run first inning costs Wildcats in LSC Championship defeat
Senior was perfect through 5.0 innings Friday against No. 8 West Texas A&M, but her dominant effort arrived an inning too late as the Lady Buffs scored four first-inning runs en route to 4-1 quarterfinal victory over Abilene Christian at the Lone Star Conference Championship.
The Lady Buffs (42-10) sent all nine batters to the plate in the first, which started with Alyssa Lemos' leadoff single followed by a two-run home run to center by Brittany Gehle.
Crain then walked Renee Erwin on four pitches and surrendered Jessica Sipe's double high off the left-field wall Allie Cranfill made it a 3-1 game with a sacrifice bunt RBI and Mercedes Garcia added one more with a base hit to center.
Garcia's single would serve as West Texas' fourth hit of the inning and last of the game as Crain went on to retire the last 16 batters she faced in order, including four by strikeout.
ACU responded offensively with eight hits and two walks off WT's Hannah Newcomb (17-5), but couldn't get anything other than a single first-inning run when singled home with two outs in the first.
The Wildcats placed runners on base through each of the first six innings and were presented two prime scoring opportunites in the third and sixth. Unfortunately, both failed to materialize.
In the third, after ACU loaded the bases with one out on two hits and an error, Newcomb got freshman to ground out into a 6-4-3 double play. And then in the sixth, freshman was thrown out a home plate by first baseman Allie Cranfill following Winkfield's ground ball to shortstop.
The Wildcats also left a runner at third base in the fourth, stranded two in the second, and one more in the fifth to finish with nine left on base.
Newcomb pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, striking out the last two batters to end the game.
The Wildcats 2013 season ends with an overall record of 28-26, which is the third-straight winning season for head coach .
Information for this story provided by ACU Athletics.