ABILENE - Incarnate Word received a pair of three-run home runs from freshman Mikaela Flores and benefited from seven walks and five errors during Sunday's five-inning 12-4 win over Abilene Christian at Poly Wells Field.
Senior Lyndi Smith also homered for the Wildcats to finish the season with 13, while her classmates Courtney Flanary and Ashley Nolan went a combined 4-for-6 with two RBI as the Wildcats finished their first season as DI program at 21-28 and 10-10 against the Southland Conference.
In preventing a three-game sweep at the hands of ACU, Incarnate Word finished 21-30 overall and 7-14 vs. the league.
Flanary put the Wildcats ahead 1-0 in the first when her two-out RBI single up the middle plated Madison Buckley from second base, and the score stayed that way until the third, where the Cardinals scored four times in sending 10 batters to the plate.
With two outs and runners in scoring position, Alex Zepeda tied the score at 1-1 with a single and then Flores hit the first of her two three-run jacks over the wall in right field to make it a 4-1 game. The Cardinals went on to load the bases after Flores' home run, but starter Peyton Mosley was able to escape the jam with a ground ball to third.
ACU would come back to tie the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the third. Freshman Taylor Brown, who earlier in the game threw a runner out a home plate, singled through the right side to start the frame and then came home on Lyndi Smith's home run off the scoreboard in left field that cut the Wildcats' deficit to 4-3.
Flanary nearly tied the score on her next swing but instead settled for a triple off the wall in right and scored on a squeeze bunt by Nolan. Unforunately, Nolan was thrown out trying to reach for second after the ball got past UIW catcher Shelby Waltrip. Cardinal starting pitcher Kristin Hebert, backing up her battery mate, made a brilliant throw to second base, where center fielder Taylor Johnson placed the tag on Nolan for the inning's first out.
Hebert went on to finish the inning with a strikeout of Cara Hoover and 1-3 putout of Anna Jones.
After a quiet fourth inning for both sides, UIW firmly put the game out of reach during a eight-run fifth inning, which again featured a two-out, three-run home by Flores in addition to two crippling errors.
ACU had a chance to extend the game past the fifth inning by putting two runners aboard with one out, but Hebert got Hoover and Jones to end the game on consecutive fly outs to left.