The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor softball team took a pair of wins over Howard Payne Thursday afternoon in Belton, earning 5-2 and 13-4 wins over the Yellow Jackets. UMHB improved to 26-10 on the season and 20-6 in American Southwest Conference action while Howard Payne fell to 8-25-2 overall and 5-20 in league play.
The first game opened with two and a half scoreless innings before the Cru came out swinging in the bottom of the third. UMHB put up four runs in that inning, highlighted by a two-RBI double from Devon Walter. The Cru added one more run in the fifth off a sacrifice fly from Linsey Tomlinson. Howard Payne made things interesting in the top of the seventh, scoring two off a home run from Brianne Davis and an RBI double from Ferrah Ford. Emily Bounds and Walter led the Cru with two hits each in the 5-2 win while Walter had a team-high two RBI. Bounds, Walter, Jessica Picou, Makenzi Dawson and Dusti Douglas all recorded runs for UMHB. Hannah Halepaska earned the complete-game win for the Cru, pitching seven innings with seven hits and two earned runs allowed. Halepaska struck out four and walked just one batter in 25 at-bats. Tia Campos and Roque split time pitching for the Yellow Jackets. Campos took the loss with four hits and four runs allowed in three innings of work.
Howard Payne extended its offensive surge into the second game, scoring three runs in the top of the first. Shawneece Jones scored on a sacrifice from Morgean Schultz before Kayla Boucher slammed a two-RBI home run. UMHB responded in the bottom of that inning, taking a 5-3 lead. Dawson scored off an RBI single from Walter before Kourtney Cummings doubled to score Kasi Cummings and Walter. Linsey Tomlinson and Avery Kelly also recorded RBI singles in the inning. UMHB scored three more in the third off RBI from Tomlinson and Kelly before putting up two in the fourth off an RBI single from Wolfe and a sacrifice from Kelly. Howard Payne and the Cru exchanged runs in the fifth before Avery Kelly slammed a game-ending two-RBI home run to secure the 13-4 win. Five Crusaders led with two hits each while Kelly led with a team-high five RBI and Kasi Cummings had three runs. Karen Tennis earned the win in the circle for the Cru, pitching four innings with two hits and three runs allowed. Tonya Thompson took the loss for the Yellow Jackets, surrendering six hits and seven runs in two innings of work. UMHB totaled 13 runs on 14 hits with one error while Howard Payne had four runs on three hits with one error.