ABILENE, Texas — Hardin-Simmons' softball team opened the season with a doubleheader sweep of Southwestern on Thursday afternoon at Ellis Field, winning 11-10 in the first game and 9-6 in the nightcap.
Hardin-Simmons jumped out to a 10-1 lead after four innings, but had to hold off a late Southwestern charge for the win.
Kara LeLeux had an RBI single in the bottom of the first and the Cowgirls scored another run on an error.
HSU opened the game up with an eight-run fourth inning. Sara Truleove had an RBI single, Sydney Darden had an RBI fielder's choice, Carley Willis had an RBI double, Braleigh Middleton had an RBI double, Lauren Williams had a two-run double and Truelove walked with the bases loaded for an RBI in the inning.
Southwestern came right back with seven runs on five hits in the fifth inning to avoid the run-rule.
HSU added what proved to be the game-winning run in the fifth when Darden singled and adved to second on a throwing error. She moved to third on a Mac Clay sacrifice bunt and scored on a Willis RBI groundout.
Southwestern added single runs in the sixth and seventh innings. The Pirates had the tying run at second base, but freshman Emily Hardaway came on and recorded the final out for a save in her first career appearance.
Truelove and LeLeux had two hits each for the Cowgirls. Karen Ramirez had three hits for Southwestern.
Keely Lowrance earned the win in the circle. She allowed just one run throw four innings, before tiring in the fifth. She allowed 10 hits and seven earned runs in four and one-third innings. Laura Ammermann and Carol Swindell each worked in relief for the Cowgirls. Nicole Gibbs took the loss for Southwestern.
HSU scored six runs in the fifth inning to pull away for a win in game two.
The Cowgirls scored a pair of runs in the first inning on RBI singles by Willis and LeLeux. Southwestern tied the game with a Tessa Gallow home run to left in the third inning.
Southwestern took the lead with two runs in the fifth inning. Berkley Bacon was hit with the bases loaded and Kayla Irvin walked with the bases loaded.
HSU scored five time in the fifth. Mac Clay had an RBI single, Willis had a two-run double to left center and LeLeux had an RBI single. Katelyn Joyner had a two-run single to add two more runs.
Southwestern scored in the sixth inning on a Gallow RBI double and Darden stole home for the Cowgirls in the sixth inning.
Darden had three hits, stole three bases and scored three times. Willis, LeLeux and Joyner each had two hits and multiple RBIs.
Hardaway worked four innings for the win allowing four runs on four hits. Lowrance picked up the saves with three innings of relief. Gibbs allowed seven runs in four and one-third innings of work.
The Cowgirls will host East Texas Baptist to open American Southwest Conference play at noon on Friday. The teams will play a doubleheader on Friday and Saturday.
Southwestern fell to 1-3 on the young season.
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