Sports
Otto's no-hitter highlights No. 6 Lions' doubleheader split with No. 13 Lady Buffs
By Texas A&M University-Commerce
Apr 8, 2018
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Commerce The No. 6 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team and No. 13 West Texas A&M University split Sunday's Lone Star Conference doubleheader. The Lions took the first game, 6-0, while the Lady Buffs took the second game, 8-2.
 
The Lions are now 32-4 overall and 17-3 in the Lone Star Conference, while the Lady Buffs are 30-6 overall and 13-4 in the LSC.
 
The two teams will close the series with a single game at 1 p.m. Monday at the John Cain Family Softball Complex.
 
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 1)

- Freshman Emily Otto pitched the program's first-ever seven inning no-hitter to earn the win and move to 13-2 on the season. It was the third no-hitter in Lion Softball history. She struck out three and walked two, allowing only four West Texas A&M baserunners.

- Mariah Jameyson and Kayla Kilcrease each picked up three hits, while Ciera Nunez and Baylea Higgs had two hits apiece.

- Higgs drove in three runs, and Kinsie Hebler, Jameyson, and Bri Sims each had RBIs.

- Lion hitters struck out only once in the contest. Jameyson reached base safely in all four plate appearances.

- The Lions stole five bases, with Nunez, Higgs (2), Jameyson, and Kimber Neal all swiping an extra bag.
 
HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)

The Lion offense got plenty of runners on base in the early going, but were unable to push any runs across the plate in the opening three innings. A&M-Commerce stranded six runners on base in the early frames.
 
Kilcrease led off the fourth with an infield single, Cherry laid down a bunt single, and Nunez walked after a sacrifice bunt to load the bases. On a 0-1 count, Higgs laced a double over the left fielder's head, clearing the bases with a three-run double. With two outs, Jameyson smoked a double over the right fielder's head to plate Higgs and giving the Lions a 4-0 lead after four innings.
 
The Lion lead extended to six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning after Nunez and Higgs singled to lead off the frame. Each Lion stole a base to put runners on second and third with none out. Hebler's hard-hit single to left plated a run.
 
After Jameyson walked to load the bases, Sims was hit by a pitch to bring home the next run. A line drive double play ended the inning to push the game to the seventh inning.
 
Otto induced a weak fly ball and a routine grounder to get within one out of program history. Her fourth pitch to India Holland was a weak grounder back to the circle and her easy toss to first for the putout clinched the series opener.
 
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 2)

- Nunez had two hits, including a triple to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Higgs, Hebler, Jameyson, Sims, and Hill each had hits.

- Hebler was tagged with the loss in the circle, allowing two runs in an inning of work.

- WT hit three homeruns in the contest.
 
HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)

The Lady Buffs earned their first run of the series in the top of the first inning on a two-run homer by Shayne Starkey with two outs. The high fly barely eluded the glove of Kilcrease in right field and went over the top of the fence for a 2-0 WT lead.
 
West Texas A&M extended its lead to 3-0 in the third, when Shanna McBroom snuck a solo homer just inside the left field foul pole.
 
The Lions came within inches of tying the game in the bottom of the third, when Sims' long fly ball to left field was caught with the left fielder's back against the fence to end the inning.
 
The Lady Buffs put up three runs in the fourth inning on a two-run double with none out and a two-out RBI single, pushing the guests' lead to 6-0.
 
A&M-Commerce got on the board in the fifth after Nunez and Higgs singled to lead off the inning. A single smashed up the middle by Jameyson cut the lead to 6-1, but the Lions would strand two runners on base.
 
WT plated two more runs in the sixth on an RBI groundout and a solo homer to go up 8-1. The Lions scored their final run of the game on a Hebler sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh after Nunez' leadoff triple, but could get no closer.