Junior Ariana Maldonado picked up hits in both games to keep her hitting streak alive, now up to 15 games. No. 7 Texas A&M-Commerce proved why their tied for the top spot in the conference as they picked up a pair of run-rule wins 22-3 and 18-4 Friday in Lone Star Conference action.
Maldonado tallied a single in game one and then added a home run in game two. WNMU (4-37, 2-21 LSC) picked up seven hits in the opener with redshirt freshman Alicia Habitzreuther going 2-3. Junior Yasmeen Gastelum drove in all three runs when she launched a three-run homer in the fourth.
Both teams battled through the first two innings with the game being scoreless entering the third. Texas A&M-Commerce (34-5, 19-4 LSC) then got things going in the third plating four unearned runs. They took advantage of another error in the fourth to score six more unearned runs to move out to a 10-0 lead.
In the home half of the fourth, that is when Gastelum delivered her home run. Habitzreuther opened the frame with a single and then moved to second on a single by redshirt sophomore Clarissa Moreno. After the second out was recorded, Gastelum lifted a 1-2 pitch deep to center for a three-run homer.
The Lions didn’t back down as they came back with a big fifth inning scoring 12 runs to take the 22-3 five inning victory. Texas A&M-Commerce ended up with eight home runs in the game, as Kinsie Hebler and Bri Sims each hit a pair of home runs. Hebler ended up with seven RBI, while Sims, Kimber Neal and Precious Thompson added three RBI apiece.
In the circle, Emily Otto picked up her 14th (14-3) win of the season when she went all five innings and allowed three earned runs. Sophomore Lyana Waddell took the loss (3-18) as she allowed 12 earned runs and added three strikeouts.
The Lady Mustangs added seven more hits in game two with senior Mariangela Garcia going 3-3 with a pair of doubles and a run scored. Junior Carolyn Castillo drove in two runs.
Texas A&M-Commerce plated a run in the first and then really got things going in the second when they scored 12 runs to open up a 13-0 lead after two.
Following a scoreless third, the Lions tacked on four more in the fourth before WNMU got on the board in the home half. Following a singled through the right side by Habitzreuther, Garcia took the first pitch she saw for a double to left-center. After an out, Moreno drove in the run with a single to left.
The Lions capped their scoring with a run in the fifth before WNMU put together during their last at-bat. With the first two outs recorded, Maldonado drilled a solo home run to right-center. Then Habitzreuther reached on a throwing error by the third baseman to keep the inning alive. Garcia added a double and Castillo drove in a pair of runs when she singled to right-center to close the scoring at 18-4 after five innings.
Hebler continued her big day when she went 4-4 with two more home runs and six RBI. Ciera Nunez and Baylea Higgs added three hits apiece. Higgs added five RBI.
In the circle, Lacie Bullard picked up the victory (2-0) for the Lions as she went the first three innings and allowed just one earned run. Katie Dean went the final two innings and allowed three runs (one earned). Habitzreuther went all five innings for WNMU and ended up with the loss (1-5) as she allowed 16 earned runs.