ABILENE, Texas - Houston Baptist overcame an early 2-0 deficit and scored three unanswered runs down the stretch to beat Abilene Christian, 7-4, during their rubber game played on a windy and sunny Sunday afternoon at Poly Wells Field.
The Huskies (19-25, 12-12 Southland) broke a 4-4 tie in the fourth with a pair of unearned runs scored with two outs. Reliever Emily Seidel (2-7) retired five of the first six batters she faced, but appeared rattled after Shay Orsak reached on an error by the second baseman. That miscue was followed by a go-ahead RBI single by Kirsten Schwirtlich plus two more walks and a bases-loaded wild pitch.
Houston Baptist further padded its lead in the sixth on a run-scoring double to the left-center gap by Melissa Herman.
ACU (19-27, 8-9 Southland) scored its first two runs in the first inning against Emily Mueller who lasted only four batters. She walked two batters around a sacrifice bunt and single back to the circle, but that was all the HBU coaching needed to see before pulling her in favor of yesterday's winner Shannon O'Connor (7-6).
O'Connor came in with the bases loaded and got Ashley Nolan to fly out to shallow center for the second out. But on the next play, a miscommunication between the Huskies' middle infielders resulted in a RBI fielder's choice for Anna Jones and then Cara Hoover reached on a error by Orsak at third base, who had no play to make at either corner after bobbling a routine grounder.
The ACU lead did not last long as the Huskies batted around in the second against starter Peyton Mosley. Three of the first four batters reached even as the ball never left the infield, and then after Courtney Flanary caught a shallow pop at third base for out No. 2, Mosley uncorked the first of two run-scoring wild pitches in between allowing RBI hits off the bats of No. 1 and 2 hitters Lauren Schwirtlich and Orsak.
The Wildcats would come back to tie the score in the bottom of their second behind RBI singles by Taylor Brown and Nolan. Unfortunately, Nolan's hit was the home team's last until she singled again to begin the fifth as the Wildcats went down in order in the third and fourth.
Nolan ended up stranded at second base in the fifth, and in the sixth and seventh, the Wildcats left runners at third base. Overall, both teams combined for 21 runners left on base - nine by the Wildcats.
The Wildcats return to action next weekend for the start of a three-game series vs. Incarnate Word. Game times are Saturday at 2 p.m. (DH) and Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Cardinals won 2-of-3 games vs. the Wildcats earlier this season in San Antonio.
Information for this story provided by Abilene Christian Athletics.
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