The Austin College softball team has been kept out on the road since February thanks to Mother Nature, but the ‘Roos made the most of their return to Sherman with a pair of walk off victories over Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Southwestern on Friday. The ‘Roos won by scores of 1-0 and 3-2 to improve to 10-10 overall and 5-9 in conference play.
Game one was a pitchers’ duel from start to finish, with Austin College’s Victoria Herrera and Southwestern’s Cozette Palmer keeping things scoreless through the first seven innings of the game and forcing extra innings. Austin College was limited to just two hits until the eighth frame, when Raquel Vara drew a walk and stole second base, and Hailey Clendennen belted a game winning double to left field to make it a 1-0 final.
Clendennen finished the game going 2-for-4, while Herrera pitched a complete game shutout, scattering four hits while striking out six batters with zero walks. Palmer finished the game surrendering one run on three hits with seven strikeouts and four walks in 7.0 innings of work to take the loss.
In game two, the teams once again took a pitchers’ duel into the fifth inning, when Austin College finally got on the scoreboard on an RBI single by Delaney England, scoring Vara to make it a 1-0 game. Southwestern plated a pair of runs in the top of the seventh, taking advantage of a throwing error to grab a 2-1 lead.
An error by Southwestern in the bottom half of the inning put two runners in scoring position for the ‘Roos, and Mary Whitworth beat a throw home on a fielder’s choice by Vara to square things up. England followed with a single to the gap in left field, and Lauren Mara came home for the winning run to make it a 3-2 final.
Clendennen finished 2-for-3 and England went 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead Austin College, and Herrera picked up the victory in relief, tossing 0.2 scoreless innings. Sophia Hernandez got a no decision after surrendering two runs – one earned – on three hits in 6.1 innings of work, while Alyssa Novander took the loss for Southwestern.
Austin College and the Pirates will square off again tomorrow for the final home doubleheader of the season beginning at 12:00 p.m. at Old Settlers Park.