Hardin-Simmons’ softball team dropped a non-conference doubleheader to LeTourneau, 9-6 and 8-0, on Thursday afternoon at a neutral site in Forney.
The matchup featured a former Hardin-Simmons battery that led HSU to a pair of American Southwest Conference titles. Former Cowgirl catcher Kate Bell-Keierleber is the head coach of LeTourneau and former all-American pitcher Arin Spence-Salas is in her first season as the Cowgirl head coach.
Game one turned into a sloppy slugfest as the teams combined for seven errors. The Cowgirls took a lead in the bottom of the first when Sarah Truelove led off being hit by a pitch moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a Sydnie Darden bunt single and scored on a double steal.
LeTourneau scored a run on three hits and a costly HSU error in the second. The Yellowjackets broke the game open in the fourth inning with six runs. Juliana Tuel had the big blow with a three-run home run. Jourdan Glover had an RBI double and two runs scored on Cowgirl errors.
HSU responded with three runs in the fourth. Julia Bradley, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, scored on an error and Jayton Gordon had a two-run double in the inning.
LC errors played a big role in two more unearned runs in the fifth inning that pushed the lead to 9-4. Mac Clay had a solo home run for HSU in the fifth inning and Brittany Acosta had an RBI double in the sixth to cut the deficit to 9-6 for HSU.
Clay led the Cowgirls with two hits and Gordon had two RBIs. Anna Winter, Sara Whitehead and Megan Hill had two hits each for LeTourneau.
Acosta went the distance in the circle for the Cowgirls allowing 12 hits and nine runs, only two of which were earned. She fell to 1-2 on the year. Karen Kuback earned the win to move to 4-1. She allowed four runs in three and one-third innings. Kaylee Pritchett earned the save with three and two-third innings of work.
In the second game, Taylor Thibodeaux kept the Cowgirl offense in check. She went the distance and allowed only two hits and struck out four to improve to 3-0.
The Cowgirls did not get their first hit until a Truelove two-out single in the fifth. Clay had a double in the sixth for HSU’s only other hit.
LU had single runs in the first, second and fourth innings to take a 3-0 lead. They broke the game open with a Brooklyn Greene grand slam in the fifth. They added a single run in the sixth to put the run rule in effect.
Carol Swindell took the loss for HSU, surrendering seven earned runs on six hits in five plus innings of work.
HSU is now 2-5-1 overall and LU improved to 8-2. HSU will open the ASC First Pitch Tournament with games against Texas-Dallas (1 p.m.) and Mississippi College (3 p.m.) on Friday in Farmer’s Branch.
Information for this story provided by HSU Sports Information.