Clarksville, Ark.-The Lady Eagles American Southwest Conference home opener Monday against UT-Dallas turned into a pair of back-and-forth contests that saw each team win a tight game.
In game one, Ozarks (3-7, 1-1) appeared to the have the game in control headed into the seventh inning, but the Comets (3-9, 1-3) made a furious comeback forcing the Lady Eagles to hold onto a nail biter, 9-8.
UT-Dallas opened the game with a pair of runs in the top of the first, but Ozarks had their way with the Comets until the seventh inning rally. Rebecca Groff singled in Colbey Russo, who reached on a double, in the bottom half of the first to get the first run. The Lady Eagles rallied in the second with two outs as Danielle Dirks tripled to begin the scoring drive. Kayla Harris then promptly singled in Dirks, and Russo followed with a single to left field. Sarah Otteman cashed in with a double to score both on base and give Ozarks a 4-2 lead. With a 6-3 lead, Nicole Ashley took full advantage of two on base, knocking a long double to center field to give the Lady Eagles a comfortable 8-3 advantage headed into the final frame. But UT-Dallas wouldn’t go down easily as they put five runs on the board in the top of the seventh to tie the contest 8-8. Nonetheless, Ozarks made a rally of their own, plating the game-winning run on a bases loaded two-out single by Cassie Saorrono.
Ozarks had 19 hits in the game, with Russo leading the charge with a 4-for-5 performance at the plate. Julie Wilkinson and Dirks each went 3-for-4. Ashley drove in a team-best three runs.
Starter Stephany Henson worked six innings and was relieved by Kelsea Morris. Henson gave up just one earned run and struck out four. Morris (1-1) got the win after throwing one inning.
A two-out seventh inning Ozarks’ rally came up just short as UT-Dallas took a 10-7 win in game two. Wilkinson smacked a two-run single in the bottom of the first to put Ozarks up 2-0. The Comets eventually tied the game 2-2, but Ozarks got a pair of runs in the fourth to go up 4-2 behind an Ashley RBI single and a Harris RBI double. UT-Dallas got both runs back in the fifth, but Wilkinson hit a solo shot and pinch runner Mercedes Walters later scored to put Ozarks up 6-4 in the bottom half. UT-Dallas rallied the next inning, scoring three runs, but could have extended the frame longer if it were not for a nice defensive play by Saorrono. With two outs, the sophomore second baseman sprinted into foul territory and caught a fly ball to stop a bases loaded rally. The Comets added three more runs in the seventh to go up 10-6, but Ozarks fought back. In the bottom of the seventh, Ozarks scratched across a run when Dirks singled in a run. Ozarks then loaded the bases with two outs but couldn’t cash in as UT-Dallas got the final out.
Harris and Wilkinson each had three hits. Wilkinson drove in three. Sarah Otteman (0-1) suffered the loss.
The Lady Eagles will travel to Tyler, Texas, to face UT-Tyler March 21.