Junior blasted a grand slam and senior Caitylyn Crain tied a career high with eight strikeouts, but their combined efforts weren't enough as No. 2 West Texas A&M held on to beat the Wildcats 7-6 during the second game of a doubleheader played Saturday at Schaeffer Park.
The two losses dropped ACU's season and Lone Star Conference records to 21-20 and 5-10, while the Lady Buffs improved to 30-4 and 12-3.
ACU lost the first game, 11-1, in five innings as both junior starter Peyton Moseley (4-8) and senior reliever struggled to get their team out of the first inning. West Texas plated nine runs in the opening frame on four hits and were helped along by three hit batsmen, two walks and a wild pitch.
The Lady Buffs pushed their lead to 10-0 in the second on Meghan Slattery's RBI single and added an unearned run in the fourth when Brittany Gehle doubled home pinch hitter Kaylah Ellyson.
ACU's lone run in the fourth vs. starter Adriana Garcia (2-0) was also unearned. advanced to third on a two-base throwing error by the second baseman and came home two batters later on 's foul ball to left field.
Mosley again was chased early in the night cap, lasting just 1.1 innings as the Lady Buffs got a bases-loaded triple from Lacey Seidel as part of a four-run first and a three-run home run from Renee Erwin in the second.
Crain relieved Mosley following Erwin's blast over the wall in left and was close to unhittable as she retired the first 12 batters she faced before allowing a one-out infield single in the sixth. She also walked a batter, but more importantly, her near-flawless performance allowed the Wildcats to mount their comeback.
ACU scratched out its first run in the third on a two-out RBI single by Smith, and then in the fourth, she clubbed her first grand slam of the season after the Wildcats loaded the bases on singles by , Winkfield and . The Wildcats then got within one run at 7-6 after Fitzgerald doubled in pinch runner .
Fitzgerald, however, was thrown out a third trying to stretch her hit into a triple, and then was retired by reliever Lauren Heinrich on a ground ball to second that ended the inning.
The Wildcats brought the go-ahead run to the plate three times in the seventh, but Heinrich was able to earn her fourth save of the season after getting both Buckley and Smith to pop up gently to the catcher and Flanary on a game-ending ground ball to third.
Hannah Newcomb (12-2) started for WT in game two and allowed six runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts.
The Wildcats return home to Poly Wells Field next week for games vs. St. Mary's and Cameron.
Information provided by ACU athletics department.