ABILENE, Texas -- Hardin-Simmons' softball team split an American Southwest Conference doubleheader with Howard Payne on Saturday afternoon to close out its season, HSU won the first game 11-7 on a walkoff grand slam by Mac Clay and lost 12-3 in five innings in the second game.
Howard Payne scored a run in the first inning on a Tylene Middleton RBI double. HSU took the lead in the third inning with three runs. Clay had an RBI single and Shelby McIntyre had a two-run single to center.
Amanda Cruddas and Shandi Winstead had back-to-back home runs for HPU to lead off the fourth inning to tie the game and took the lead on a Cruddas home run in the fifth.
HSU scored four runs in the fifth inning. Clay walked and Carley Willis to lead off the inning. Julia Bradley moved them over with a sacrifice bunt and then McIntyre hit a sacrifice fly to center field that was misplayed for an error that scored both runners. Kara LeLeux followed with a two-run home run.
HPU came right back with three runs in the sixth. Middleton had an RBI single and another run scored on an error and Haleigh Carraway had an RBI single to tie the game at seven.
Tera Davis led off the seventh with double and she was bunted to third by Jayton Gordon. Sarah Truelove wlaked and Sydnie Darden singled to the pitcher to load the bases before Clay hammered the walkoff grand slam.
Clay had three hits and drove in five runs and Darden had three hits for HSU. Middleton had three hits for Howard Payne.
Carol Swindell started for the Cowgirls and worked three innings, she was relieved by Brittany Acosta who worked the final four innings for the win. She allowed three unearned runs on six hits and improved to 8-13 on the year. Keeley Lowrance fell to 1-6 with the loss for HPU.
Howard Payne scored three times in the first inning of the second game. Middleton had an RBI single and Amanda Gober had a two-run single. Katie Poerner added a two-run home run in the second inning to make it 5-0.
Ashten Huddleston had a sacrifice fly for HSU in the third to score Nathalie De La Torre, who had doubled to lead off the inning.
HPU scored five more times in the fourth inning. Carraway had an RBI single, a run scored on a passed ball, Gober had an RBI on a squeeze bunt and Winstead had a two-run double.
HSU scored two runs in the fourth on a two-run single by De La Torre. HPU scored two more times in the fifth to put the run rule in effect. Cruddas had an RBI single and Gober had a sacrifice fly.
De La Torre had two of the three HSU hits. Gober drove in four runs and Caraway had three hits to pace HPU.
Baillie Trumble went the distance and allowed just one earned run for HPU to improve to 10-8. Carley Willis allowed 12 earned runs on 15 hits in five innings.
HSU closed the season with a record of 12-25-1 and 10-14 in ASC play. Howard Payne is now 20-19 overall and 15-9 in ASC play.
The game was the final game for HSU seniors Shelby McIntyre and Julia Bradley.
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