ABILENE – ACU senior Peyton Mosley pitched her best game in almost two seasons Tuesday evening to lead the Wildcats to a 3-0 win over Oklahoma City in the second game of a Wildcat doubleheader sweep in college softball action at Wells Field.
The Wildcats won the first game, 5-4, after scoring two runs in the third inning and three more in the fourth as they were able to snap the Stars' 21-game winning streak. In the nightcap, Mosley gave up just two hits and one walk to a team that entered the doubleheader hitting a collective .370.
But they were punchless against Mosley, who as 11-9 with a 2.59 ERA as a sophomore in 2012, but is just 7-16 since, including starting this season at 0-7. But she has won her last two starts, going the distance against both Prairie View A&M last Wednesday and Tuesday against Oklahoma City.
The Stars entered the doubleheader at 25-1 and ranked No. 3 in NAIA softball. But they were limited to just four runs and a combined seven hits on the day as freshman Hannah Null went the distance in the first game to improve to 7-5, and then Mosley completely shut them down in the second game. The shutout loss marked the first time the Stars have been shut out since May 27, 2013, when they lost to Concordia (Calif.) in the NAIA national tournament. The shutout loss snapped a streak of 28 games in which the Stars had scored, including all 27 previous games this season.
In the nightcap, the two teams battled through 5 1/2 scoreless innings before the Wildcats finally broke through with three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
With one out and Courtney Flanary on first, Ashley Nolan and Madison Buckley each reached on singles – Nolan on a bunt single that she just beat out at the bag and Buckley on a single that bled into left field – loading the bases. Second baseman Demi McNulty, who played a solid game in the field as well, drilled the first pitch she saw from relief pitcher Maria Gomez over the head of starting pitcher Danielle Fox (who was playing centerfield after the pitching change) for a two-run double.
Fox then moved back to the circle, but she gave up a two-out RBI single to Cara Hoover, whose line drive into left field drove in Buckley with the final run of the game.
Mosley took it from there, recovering from falling behind in the count 3-0 to the leadoff hitter in the seventh to get Jocelin Diaz to ground out for the first out. She then retired each of the next two hitters to end the game. Aside from two errors – one in the fifth and one in the sixth by the ACU defense – Mosley set down 17 of the final 19 batters she faced.
In the first game, Oklahome City took advantage of a pair of ACU errors in the top of the first to push three runs across against Null. ACU got two of the runs back in the bottom of the third on an RBI groundout by Paige Stevens and a sacrifice fly by Lyndi Smith.
ACU grabbed the lead with three runs on five hits in the bottom of the fourth with leftfielder Taylor Brown coming up with the biggest hit of the inning, a two-run single to right field that drove in Tory Valdivia and McNulty to put the Wildcats in front, 5-4.
Null gave up a single run in the top of the fifth, but got a strikeout and a groundout to end the fifth with the tying and go-ahead runs left on base. After those two outs, she set the Stars down in order in the sixth and seventh to finish the game by retiring each of the final eight hitters she faced.
Null allowed just five fits and four runs (one earned) in seven innings, while striking out seven batters.
The Wildcats – 10-15 and winners of four straight and five of their last six games – will be back in action this weekend when go to San Antonio to take on Incarnate Word in the Southland Conference opener for both teams. The teams will play a Saturday doubleheader followed by a single game Sunday.