The No. 9 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team used walk-off home runs in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader against Texas A&M University-Kingsville, winning 7-6 and 4-3 to sweep the Lone Star Conference series at the John Cain Family Softball Complex.
The Lions are now 28-3 overall and 13-2 in the LSC with the sweep and move their winning streak to 12 games, while A&M-Kingsville falls to 17-18 overall and 7-11 in the league.
A&M-Commerce hits the road for its next series, taking on Eastern New Mexico in Portales for a three-game Lone Star Conference series. The series in Portales, N.M., is set to begin Thursday, March 29, with a doubleheader at 5 p.m. MDT.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (GAME ONE)
– All seven of the Lions’ runs came via the home run with Bri Sims smashing two homers and Kinsie Hebler, Kimber Neal, and Mariah Jameyson hit a long ball each.
– Jameyson went 3-for-3 in the game with two RBIs, while Sims’ pair of homers brought home three runs.
– Emily Otto picked up the win in the circle with three innings of hitless and scoreless relief. She moved her record to 9-3 on the season.
– Selena Rima allowed four earned runs in four innings as the starting pitcher. Hebler allowed two runs.
HOW IT HAPPENED (GAME ONE)
Neither team was able to score in the first two and a half innings before a Lion offensive explosion with two out in the bottom of the third. Hebler jumped on the first pitch of her at-bat and hammered it entirely out of the John Cain Family Softball Complex for her seventh homer of the season and a 1-0 lead.
After Jameyson drew a walk, Sims launched her fifth homer of the season to the berm in center field. The two-run shot gave the Lions a 3-0 advantage after three complete innings.
The Javelinas responded in the top of the fourth inning, narrowing the deficit to 3-2 after a pair of solo home runs by Roxy Chapa and Anastasia Leibas.
A&M-Commerce used two-out offense to plate its next run, as Neal smashed her first career home run to left field to push the Lions back out to a two-run lead at 4-2.
The Javelinas took their first lead of the series in the top of the fifth. After the first two runners reached base, Hebler entered the game and conceded a three-run home run to left by Victoria Schoonard-Saborio giving A&M-Kingsville a 5-4 lead. A squeeze bunt with a runner on third brought home another run, but Otto managed to leave the bases full of Javelinas with the visitors up 6-4.
The Lions made the home faithful sweat out the decision to the end before walking off with a victory. After a pair of groundouts to start the frame, Hebler drew a walk. With two strikes and two out, Jameyson mashed her 14th homer of the season to right-center to tie the game at 6-6.
With a full count, Sims hammered her ball to nearly exactly the same spot for her sixth homer of the year, walking the Lions off with the 7-6 win and ensuring the series win.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (GAME TWO)
– Jameyson smashed a walk-off homer to seal the Lion sweep. She also walked twice.
– Emily Otto earned the win in relief with a third of an inning, as the Lions threw out the go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the seventh. Katie Dean allowed three runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings, walking two and striking out one.
– Monica Cherry hit a sixth-inning triple, followed by a Kayla Kilcrease homerun to give the Lions a lead in the sixth inning.
– Ciera Nunez had two hits and drew two walks to reach base in all four plate appearances.
– Kilcrease finished the game with two hits.
HOW IT HAPPENED (GAME TWO)
The Lions opened the scoring in the first, as Nunez singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Sims brought her home with a single to give A&M-Commerce a 1-0 lead, but the rally was snuffed as the trail runner was thrown out.
The Javelinas tied up the game in the top of the third after a hit batsman moved to second on a groundout and scored on Schoonard-Saborio’s single to center.
The game would stay at 1-1 as the pitchers took over until the bottom of the sixth. Cherry led off with a triple past the diving right fielder, and Kilcrease immediately launched her third homer of the season to centerfield, putting the Lions ahead 3-1 with the chance to close out the game in the top half of the seventh inning.
A&M-Kingsville tied up in the game with a two-run, two-out home run to right field by Schoonard-Saborio in the top of the seventh. The go-ahead run tried to score from second on a single to right but Vanessa Avina rifled the throw home and Jameyson tagged the runner out.
Jameyson would provide the late-inning dramatics yet again, smashing the first pitch she saw in the bottom of the seventh over the center field fence for her 15th dinger of the season and the second straight walk-off win.
Written by: Josh Manck