ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons’ softball gave the No. 2 ETBU Tigers their second loss of the season on Sunday in a crazy game that ended with a walk-off home run for the Cowgirls.
This was the third game in the American Southwest Conference series between the teams, and fans you could make a movie out of this one.
The Tigers came out of the gates firing with back-to-back homeruns in the first, a two-run tomahawk by Kaitlin Hunter and the second by Dani Solis giving them a 3-0 early lead.
Karis Hessert stole the momentum back for the Cowgirls with a two-out homer on a line over left field in the bottom of the first to make it 3-1 ETBU. An RBI single by Solis made it 4-1 Tigers in the third.
Stephanie Pfeifer and Kenzee Hessert opened the third with two singles followed by a Kate Tovar walk to load the bases, and Karis Hessert doubled to the fence in right to score two. The Cowgirls got Tovar home from third off an error, tying the game at 4-4 after three.
The Cowgirls got Pfeifer and Tovar on base again in the fourth and with two outs Taylor Hinojos hit a clutch double over the right fielder to score two more and get the first lead of the day for HSU, 6-4.
The lead didn’t last long, as the Tigers came roaring back in the fifth with three runs off four hits and a couple costly Cowgirl errors, making it 7-6 ETBU.
The Cowgirls had two quick outs in the bottom of the fifth before rallying with singles from Alaina Marquez and Pfeifer, allowing Kenzee Hessert to line a double to right center for another two-out score for the Cowgirls to tie the game 7-7.
Karis Hessert launched her second home run of the game, a moon-shot over left, to lead off the sixth inning and the Cowgirls were back on top 8-7.
Solis led off the seventh with a double, her fourth hit of the game, and the Tigers were able to manufacture a run with an Emily Deramus sac fly, making it 8-8 headed to the bottom of the seventh.
With a tie ballgame, bottom of the seventh, and the Cowgirls looking to upset the No. 2 ETBU Tigers, Pfeifer got on base with her fourth hit of the afternoon.
Stepping up to the plate was the shortstop Kenzee Hessert, who’s sister Karis had already hit two homeruns in the game. Well whatever she can do I can do better, said Kenzee, as she connected with a ball and only needed to hear the crowd erupt to know it was gone.
The party ensued at home plate for the Cowgirls who handed the No. 2 ETBU Tigers their second loss all year in the most dramatic way possible with the walk-off home run.
Taylor Hinojos started in the circle for the Cowgirls, and Gabby Ortega came in to receive the win on the walk off. Beatriz Lara started for ETBU and had seven strikeouts before giving leave to Presley Cox who had the loss.
Karis Hessert had three hits with two homers and four RBIs, Kenzee Hessert had three hits with the walk off and three RBIs. Stephanie Pfeifer had an outstanding day, getting the old Wendy’s four-for-four and scoring three runs against two of the best pitchers in the league.
Dani Solis was a menace for the Tigers with a perfect four-hit day with a home run, her second of the series. MacKenzie Anderson also had three hits and scored three runs for ETBU.
The Cowgirls drop two in the series but put a feather in their cap for being the only ASC opponent to best the No. 2 ETBU team. HSU stands at 17-17 and 12-9 in ASC play while ETBU falls to 32-2 and 23-1 in the conference. The Cowgirls will play at UT Dallas starting wit ha double header next Thursday at 4:00 P.M.