SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The ACU Wildcats got their season started Friday as they split a pair of games at the St. Mary's Spring Invitational.
The Wildcats whipped Texas A&M International, 10-0, in six innings in the season-opener, but lost 3-1 to NAIA powerhouse Lubbock Christian in the second game of the day.
The Wildcats will be back in action Saturday at 10 a.m. against St. Edward's, followed by a 4 p.m. game against Texas-Permian Basin.
After exploding for 14 hits and 10 runs in the first game, the Wildcats' offense was silenced by LCU pitcher Katera Eltsosie, who scattered seven hits and struck out 11 Wildcats in seven innings without allowing a walk.
She gave up a single run in the bottom of the fourth inning when Demi McNulty singled to drive in pinch-runner Kayle Crozier to pull the Wildcats to within 3-1.
But Eltsosie 10 of the final 12 batters she faced, and the two Wildcats that did reach base Madison Buckley on a fifth-inning single and Keanna Winkfield on a seventh-inning single) didn't advance past first base.
Winkfield's single in the seventh came with two outs, giving the Wildcats a chance to tie the game. But shortstop Sara Vaughn flew out to deep right field to end the game.
In the opener against the Dust Devils, The Wildcats blew open a 1-0 game with four runs in the fourth and five more in the top of the sixth to win via the run rule.
In the fourth, ACU took advantage of three International errors to score its four runs. McNulty, Winkfield, Buckley and Lyndi Smith each had singles in the inning, but none of them were run-scoring hits. The only RBI in the inning was an RBI groundout by Courtney Flanary.
The Wildcats broke out their big sticks in the seventh as they collected six hits en route to finishing the game.
With one out and runners at second and third, Flanary doubled in Vaughn and Buckley to make it 6-0. Smithn then singled to drive in Buckley for an 7-0 lead before Heather Peacock singled to drive in pinch-runner Crozier for an 8-0 lead.
Freshman Taylor Fitzgerald then delivered a two-out, two-run pinch-hit single to drive in the game-ending runs.
Shelby Hall went the first four innings to pick up th win as she struck out five batters and allowed just three hits. Caitlyn Crain went the final two innings and gave up just one hit while striking out a pair of batters.
Information for this station provided by ACU Sports Information.