Above photo by Luke Zayas/True To The Cru
By Matthew Morrison, Contributing Writer
BELTON- The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor softball team completed a three-game sweep over LeTourneau University this weekend. The wins improved the Cru to 25-9 on the season and 18-6 in American Southwest Conference action while the YellowJackets fell to 11-21 overall and 8-16 in league play.
UMHB took game one 9-3 on Thursday Night. Izzy Gutierrez, Milly Cesare, Elissa Elliott, and Bailey Eggleston all had at least two hits in the win. UMHB followed their impressive game one victory with another great hitting performance in game two.
Gutierrez drove in a pair of runs for the Cru to open game one of the doubleheader. She hit a towering home run into right field in the bottom of the first to put the Cru up 2-0. The Cru tacked on two more runs at the end of the inning on a passed ball, taking a 4-0 advantage after the first frame. UMHB added some insurance in the bottom of the third inning off an RBI single from Blakely Niles. Rachel Williams pitched four shutout innings in the win, and didn’t give up a hit until the fifth inning. LeTourneau scored two runs in that inning to cut the UMHB lead to four. The Cru responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth. Cesare scored on an RBI single from Elisabeth Paul and Eggleston and Kendall Tramel both scored on an error, putting the Cru up by seven runs. UMHB would win by a score of 9-2.
Game two of the Friday doubleheader started similar to game one. The Cru jumped out early in the first when Eggleston hit an RBI single to score Lindsey Polleschultz and Cesare to put the Cru up 2-0. The score remained the same until the bottom of the fourth. UMHB put up a four-spot in the inning thanks to an RBI singles from Bailey Stoker and Cesare. Cesare later scored on an error and the Cru expanded their lead to 6-0. UMHB would claim the run-rule win by adding two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. The final score was 8-0.
Cesare led UMHB with three hits and three runs in the final game. UMHB totaled eight runs on 10 hits while the YellowJackets had six hits and two errors. Emilee Wade pitched the complete-game shutout for the Cru, giving up six hits with three strikeouts.
The Crusaders are now in sole possession of third place in the ASC standings, trailing first-place Belhaven by just two games.
UMHB will return to action next weekend at Dee Dillon Field in Belton. The Cru will play Sul Ross State. First game will be at 4 p.m. on Friday with game two following after. The series will finish on Saturday, April 23, at 11 a.m.