SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College softball team needed to split their doubleheader with Hendrix College on Sunday to clinch a spot in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, and after falling 4-2 in game one the ‘Roos got a dramatic 5-4 walk-off victory in game two to lock up the No. 3-seed in the SCAC West Division. The ‘Roos are now 13-27 overall and 7-9 in conference play.
In game one the Warriors jumped on top 1-0 in the second before the ‘Roos answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning, but a two run single by Brittiny Casteen in the fifth put Hendrix on top 3-1. Suzanne Beltran drove in a run in the bottom half of the inning to cut it to 3-2, but Hendrix would add another run and the ‘Roos would be unable to answer in the 4-2 loss.
Amber Pemberton went the distance on the mound, giving up four runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and five walks to take the loss. Six players had a hit apiece, and Beltran and Jenny Dowsey each drove in a run to lead the ‘Roos offensively.
In game two the Warriors got a solo homer from Ashley Halbert to take a first inning lead, but a two run single by Heather Farquhar made it 2-1 after one, and that would remain the score until the third when Halbert and Paula Burr each drove in a run to put Hendrix on top 3-2. Mallory Rossman answered with an RBI double for the ‘Roos to bring things square at 3-3.
Halbert belted her second homer of the game to lead off the fifth inning and give Hendrix a one run lead, but once again the ‘Roos fought back with Farquhar ripping an RBI single to tie things up again at 4-4 after five, and that’s how it would remain heading into the seventh.
The Warriors were threatening with a runner on third base and only one out, but Briana Slawson made the defensive play of the year for the ‘Roos when she caught a fly ball in right and threw a laser to get Morgan Fires at the plate to preserve the tie and end the top of the seventh. Slawson led off the bottom half of the inning with a base hit, and after being moved around to third, came home to score the winning run on a sacrifice fly to deep center by Farquhar.
Farquhar went 2-for-2 with four RBI and Jessica Baker went 2-for-3 with two runs scored to lead the ‘Roos offensively, while Pemberton picked up the win in relief, pitching 1.0 scoreless inning with a strikeout and a walk. Halbert had a huge day at the plate for Hendrix, going 3-for-3 with two homers and three RBI.