Clarksville, Ark.-Ozarks opened the season with a pair of losses in the American Southwest Conference First Pitch Tournament Friday in Farmers Branch, Texas.
The Lady Eagles (0-2) stormed back from a 5-1 deficit in their final at-bat with two outs, but came up short as Howard Payne University edged the Lady Eagles 5-4 in game one Friday.
Howard Payne (7-1) broke open a 1-0 game by scoring four runs in the top of the sixth to go up 5-0. Ozarks, however, wouldn’t go down easily as they manufactured a run in the bottom of the sixth on a Rebecca Groff RBI single. Trailing 5-1 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Ozarks’ bats came alive, recording three hits and scoring three runs in the frame. Kayla Harris got things started with a single to right field. Colbey Russo followed with another single, and both runners were able to advance a base on a Howard Payne miscue. Sarah Otteman drew a walk to load the bases, and then Cassie Saorrono delivered a double to the right field gap to score all three runners. However, Ozarks’ rally came to a halt when Howard Payne forced a ground out to end the game.
Russo and Julie Wilkinson each went 2-for-4 at the plate. Saorrono finished 1-for-3 with 3 RBI.
Stephany Henson (0-1) took the loss after tossing five and two-third innings. She struck out five.
In game two, Mary Hardin-Baylor (5-2) came back from a 3-1 deficit after five and scored three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to upend Ozarks 7-3. Ozarks struck first, scoring twice in the first inning to hold a 2-0 advantage. The first run came when Sarah Ottoman doubled in Harris. Wilkinson would get a bat on the ball to drive in Otteman later in the frame. Mary Hardin-Baylor cut it to 2-1 in the second, and the scored remained so until Ozarks put up another run in the fourth. This time is was Morgan Goates that crossed the plate on a passed ball. The Crusaders, however, answered big in the sixth and seventh innings to bring their lead to 7-3.
Otteman paced Ozarks at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance. Kaci Foster (0-1) took the loss.
The Lady Eagles will take on Schreiner University at 10:00 a.m. and Sul Ross State at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow.