Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks softball team split to open the American Southwest Conference first pitch tournament Friday in Farmers Branch, Texas.
Ozarks (2-7) dropped game one to Mary Hardin-Baylor 14-5, but came back in the nightcap to earn a 10-8 win over Schreiner University (0-2).
Schreiner opened the game with a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Lady Eagles answered with a run in the second and later added two runs in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead. Schreiner scored four runs in the fifth, but Ozarks equaled that and remained ahead 7-6. Schreiner came back with two runs in the sixth, but Ozarks once again answered with three runs in the bottom half of the frame to keep a 10-8 lead heading into the final inning.
Casey Mays went 3-for-3 with two RBI to lead Ozarks. Colbey Russo finished 3-for-4 with two RBI.
Kelsey Mefford (2-1) received the win in relief.
Against Mary Hardin-Baylor, Ozarks jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning behind a three-run homer by Heather Roberts. Ali Mathis started the inning with a single through the right side of the infield. Mefford followed with a walk and then stole second to put two runners in scoring position. Kelsey Stephens recorded a sacrifice fly to score Mathis. Roberts then launched a home run over the center field fence to bring in three more runs. But the Crusaders (6-3) staged a comeback, scoring three runs in the second frame to climb within 4-3. Mary Hardin-Baylor later evened the score, 4-4, in the top of the fourth. The Lady Eagles gained a 5-4 lead in the bottom half of the inning when Mathis scored from third on an illegal pitch. The Crusaders took a 6-5 advantage in the fifth and then scored eight runs in the seventh to put the game out of reach. The Crusaders collected nine of their 14 hits in the seventh inning.
Ozarks had six hits, all coming from different players.
Arlisa Arwood (0-2) took the loss.
The Lady Eagles will play Sul Ross State University Saturday at 12:30 pm and Concordia University Texas at 5:30 pm.