Clarksville, Ark.-The Lady Eagles split with LeTourneau University in their home-opener Friday afternoon to start the American Southwest Conference slate with a 1-1 record.
Ozarks (6-4, 1-1 ASC) overcame a 3-0 fifth inning deficit to secure a 5-3 win in game one. In the nightcap, the Lady Eagles couldn’t overcome a 7-1 sixth inning deficit and fell 7-4 despite having the game-tying run at the plate.
In the opening game, LeTourneau (4-6, 1-1 ASC) clubbed two home runs to gain a 3-0 lead after five and one-half innings. Ozarks’ bats came alive in the bottom half of the fifth and scored five runs off three hits. Brittany Wagnon led off with a walk and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Heather Roberts laced a single to center field to put runners at the corner, and Molly Bowman recorded an infield single to score one. Casey Mays knocked in a run when she grounded out to the short stop. With two outs and still trailing 3-2, Ali Mathis continued the inning for Ozarks when she drew a walk. Kelsey Stephens then delivered a single to left field to score Bowman. A critical error later in the inning allowed both Stephens and Mathis to score and put the Lady Eagles in front 5-3. LeTourneau fought back to load the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth, but Amber Rollins worked her way out the jam by striking out Robin Waggoner.
Bowman paced Ozarks at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance.
Rollins (5-2) struck out seven in the win.
In game two, Ozarks nearly fashioned a comeback in the final two innings, but LeTourneau had built a lead too big for the Lady Eagles to overcome.
LeTourneau jumped out to a 6-0 advantage after four innings of play. Ozarks scored once in the fifth on a Mathis RBI single, but LeTourneau got the run back in the top of the sixth to make it 7-1. Ozarks rallied in the bottom of the sixth when Reagan Littlefield led off with a walk. Wagnon doubled to center field to put a pair of runners in scoring position. With two outs, Mays ripped a single through the left side of the infield to score two runs. With Bowman and Mays on base, Stephens was hit by a pitch to load the bases. However, LeTourneau ended the rally with a strikeout.
Mathis finished 3-for-4 with two RBI for Ozarks. Mays went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Tabitha Porter (1-2) suffered the loss after tossing two and two-third innings.
Ozarks will conclude its series against LeTourneau University tomorrow with a double-header starting at noon.