Justine Gaskamp, Sports Information Director
Tyler, Texas—The Panhandle State softball team collected two non-conference road wins on Wednesday afternoon, defeating Texas College with run-rule routs of 17-2 and 16-4.
Pitchers Lyndsay Jacobs (3-10) and Julia Ibarra (11-9) each added wins to their records, respectively working through each five-inning outing. Jacobs took the circle in game one and held a 2.80 ERA with eight hits and two earned runs to her name. Ibarra controlled the plate in game two, allowing just two hits over 20 at bats, and holding the Steers to a .100 team batting average.
The Aggies opened with two runs in the first inning of Game One and jumped to a 9-1 lead after just two innings of play. Anjunessia Husband got things going with a bunt single to lead off in the first, and centerfielder Jewell Lee backed Husband up with a two-run homer on her first appearance at the plate. The Steers answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the first, but were silenced by Jacobs and the Panhandle field through the fourth inning. Jacobs started off the second inning with double to right, and pinch runner Abby Gregory scored on a follow-up single by Faith Guzman. With one out, Lee drove a double to left field to bring in Guzman from second, and a single by Brooklyne Bolton brought Lee in to edge the Aggies ahead 5-1. Back-to-back doubles by Jaylinn Reyes and Brissa Rivera added three more runs to the board, with a single from Gregory sending the seventh run through in the second inning.
Lee stepped up for her second double of the day in the top of the third and scored on a two-out home run by catcher Haleigh Scott. Shortstop Jena Konieczka singled to left and circled the bases on a two-run round tripper by Reyes to bring the Aggies up 13-1 going into the fourth. Makenna Clement came in to hit for Husband in the fourth inning and touted a triple right of the bat. Clement scored run number 14 on a single from Lee, who went four of five at the plate in game one. With one out and bases loaded in the fifth, Jacobs send through Karah Ortiz who was in to run for Scott; Scott led off the inning with a single to left field. Two more runners scored as Brileigh Murphree took the plate in place of Guzman and hit a two-run single, sending the Steers out for what would be the final inning down 17-1. TC scored their second run of the day as they scored their first, on a solo homer to centerfield.
Game Two got off to a quick start as the Aggies secured six runs in the first inning beginning with an RBI-single by Jewell Lee. A double steal from Haleigh Scott and Brooklyne Bolton put runners in scoring position as Jena Konieczka approached the plate. Konieczka reached base on an infield error and proceeded to steal second sending both Scott and Bolton through on the misplays of the Steers. A double by left fielder Chrislyn Dovers plated two more runs for Panhandle, and Dovers later scored on a ground-out by Karah Ortiz. Ibarra held the Steers scoreless in the bottom of the first inning, and gained an 8-0 advantage over her opponents as the Aggies put up two runs in the second. A leadoff double by Lee was followed with a single by Bolton the brought the lead runner to third. Bolton notched another stolen base and second infield error by the Steers sent Lee through for one Aggie run; Bolton crossed home on a single by Konieczka. The Steers launched a leadoff homer to get on the board with one run in the bottom of the second inning (8-1).
The third inning took a downward turn for Texas College, as the Steers committed consecutive errors at third base in Panhandle’s first two plate appearances. The third hitter was walked, to load the bases with Aggies. Lee sent a two-run single deep into centerfield and was bolstered by a double from Bolton that brought in two more Aggie runners. Scott took first on the Steers’ fifth error of the game to score Bolton from second. Scott then advanced on a wild pitch and would touch home plate after a groundout play on Jaylinn Reyes. The Steers saw errors in all five innings, including their final field infraction in the fifth that would place Murphree on base with one out. Murphree would score on a single by Shelbie Little and the Aggies’ last run of the day was added off the bat of pitcher Julia Ibarra who sent an RBI-single to left with bases loaded and two outs on the board. The Aggies marked an outfield error in the bottom of the fifth, aiding the Steers in scoring three runs in their closing session. A home run followed, with two runners on base and the score stood at 16-4 as the final out was thrown on a pop-up play.
Jewell Lee and Jaylinn Reyes reigned as leaders at the plate, posting seven and six RBI respectively. Lee batted .778 over the two-game stretch, going 7-9 at the plate and taking 13 total bases. As a team Panhandle State hitters averaged .507 on the doubleheader matchup and held the Steers to a .238 batting average for the series. The Aggies totaled 36 hits including nine doubles, one triple and three home runs. Texas College scored all six of their runs on four-base hits.
Panhandle State softball owns an overall record of 18-25 as they head into the final four series on the regular-season schedule. The team continues travel in Texas with a four-game Sooner Athletic Conference series at Southwestern Assemblies of God April 13-14 in Waxahachie. The Aggies remain on the road for games at Bacone April 20-21 and Sterling College April 23, before returning to Goodwell for their final home games against Mid-America Christian April 27-28; seniors will be celebrated prior to Saturday’s doubleheader against MACU at noon.