Abilene, TX - The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor softball team put together a solid offensive attack and the Crusaders rolled to a doubleheader sweep of Hardin-Simmons University Saturday afternoon in Abilene. UMHB took game one 11-9 and won game two by a 7-3 count. The Crusaders improve to 5-9 overall and 2-2 in American Southwest Conference play with the two victories. Hardin-Simmons falls to 6-6 overall and 2-2 in the ASC with the two losses.
UMHB jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in game one and then held off a late Cowgirl charge on the way to an 11-9 victory. Beth Lamb doubled home a run and Desiree Cortinas singled home two more in a three-run top of the first inning and UMHB pushed it to 4-0 on Kacie Kripner's RBI single in the top of the second. HSU cut the lead to 4-2 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third and the two teams each scored a run in the next two innings to make it 5-3. The Cru then exploded for five runs in the sixth. Samantha King and Leala Hall each singled home runs and Katie Stallings added a two-run single. UMHB's fifth run scored on a passed ball. The Cowgirls scored six in the bottom of the inning as Kate Bell and Nicole Cortez each hit two run homers, but HSU could not close the gap all the way. The Crusaders added an insurance run on Beth Lamb's sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh and the Cru then held on for the win. Lindsey Liles got the win for UMHB to improve to 2-3 on the season. Arin Spence took the loss for HSU to drop to 3-3. Kripner was 5-5 for the Cru and five other players had two hits apiece for UMHB.
The Crusaders grabbed another 4-0 lead early in game two and cruised to a 7-3 win. Rachel Freeman started the scoring with an RBI single in the top of the first and Hall, Kripner and Karen Fertitta all drove in runs in a three-run second for the Cru. HSU got on the board in the bottom of the third, but UMHB added single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth and never looked back. Daphne Kahlig earned the win for UMHB to raise her record to 2-4 on the season while Megan Murrey took the loss for HSU to drop to 3-2. Kripner was 3-4 for the Crusaders and Cortinas, Hall and Lauren Lloyd added two hits apiece for UMHB.
The Crusaders will now return home to host Concordia-Austin for a four-game series next week. The two teams will play 1:00 PM doubleheaders on both Friday and Saturday at Dee Dillon Field on the UMHB campus.