Junior Kaci Olson went 4 for 5 in the Hilltoppers home opening doubleheader on Tuesday. (St. Edward's Athletics courtesy photo)
Junior Kaci Olson went 4 for 5 in the Hilltoppers home opening doubleheader on Tuesday. (St. Edward’s Athletics courtesy photo)

AUSTIN – The St. Edward’s softball team ended its home opening doubleheader against Texas A&M-Kingsville in dramatic fashion as they won the first tilt 4-3 in extra innings but fell in the second game by a score of 5-3.

Game 1:
St. Edward’s (3-5) put a run on the board early as ALEX MAYFIELD found her way to second base after the third baseman rushed her throw to first on a bunt attempt. Mayfield stole third base and the catcher airmailed the throw to allow Mayfield to score on the play.

Senior pitcher, SARAH DEBROW came out firing as she only allowed one run on two hits over the first four innings of play. Unfortunately for Debrow, one of the surrendered hits found its way over the leftfield fence, tying the score, 1-1.

An error in the bottom of the fifth allowed the Javelina (3-1) leadoff hitter to get aboard.  Carlie Clark promptly hit a line drive single to right center advancing the runner to third.  Clark attempted to steal second base but FAITH ROBERTS threw the runner out at second. However, the throw down to second allowed the runner on third to make it home and give the Javelinas a 2-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, ALEX MAYFIELD walked on four-straight pitches. The next pitch, Mayfield stole second and was later moved to third on a ground ball by KACI OLSON. After CAITIE CARNEY was hit by a pitch, FAITH ROBERTS roped a single to left center which tied things up at 2-2.

After holding Kingsville at bay in the top of the sixth, CYDNEY ERVIN reached first on a fielder’s choice. She managed to steal second base, putting herself in scoring position. After Mayfield singled to move her to third, Olson ripped a single into center to give the Hilltoppers a 3-2 advantage.

The lead was short lived as Valarie Ramierz hit a lead off homerun to tie the score for the Javelinas and extend the ball game. Debrow quickly settled down to get two quick outs before striking out the final four batters of the game.

St. Edward’s found some late inning magic in the eighth inning as Mayfield hit a single to left center. Up next was Olson, who came away with her fourth single of the game, advanced Mayfield to third and CAITIE CARNEY put an end to the game with a shot up the middle to score Mayfield for a walk-off victory by a score of 4-3.

Debrow had a quick moment to speak with us after the game. “It always feels good to get a win, and winning the first game of the season on the Hilltop is always exciting.” Debrow went onto praise her offense by saying, “It means a lot to come in as a pitcher and have these girls behind me both defensively and at the plate. They did a great job of producing runs and we’re happy to get the win.”

KACI OLSON went 4-for-5 on the day and said, “I’ve been working to read the defense and figuring out where I should hit it. It felt good to come through for my team at the plate.” Olson has also made the transition from second base to shortstop this season after starting at second for her first two seasons with the Hilltoppers, ” A lot of people think it’s the same but it’s a lot of work moving to short. At first I felt rushed but I’m getting more comfortable there and the girls are playing great around me which helps.”

Game 2:
The Hilltoppers did not fare as well in the second game as they mustered just three hits through the first five innings. Javelina starting pitcher Karri Smith maneuvered her way through the Hilltopper lineup before the seventh inning base runners through her outing.

Hilltopper starting pitcher KATELYN KLUG ran into a bit of trouble in the third inning as A&M-Kingsville came away with a single, back-to-back sacrifice bunts. Haley Boyett blasted a RBI triple to center field and scored on the very next pitch as Loren Donaldson ripped a single through the right side.

With the lead at 2-0, the Javelinas found some more success with two out as Clark once again came up with an RBI-double to score Stephanie Lugo from third. Jaeleen Castro singled through the right side to bring in Clark and give the Javelinas a 4-0 lead.

Prior to the seventh inning the umpires met to discuss whether or not there was enough daylight to complete the game. Kingsville would add on in the final inning with a swinging bunt single that narrowly stayed fair and allowed the runner on third to score.

St. Edward’s tried to produce a late rally that started with KP PERCH‘s single and EMILY MAYFIELD wearing a pitch to put runners on first and second. SAMANTHA GILMORE‘s ground out moved the runners to second and third which allowed MORGAN DUFOUR to drive in both runners by blasting a double to left field. Ervin doubled in the next at bat to score Dufour and bring the score to within 5-3. Ervin advanced to third via a throwing error by the right fielder but the Kingsville infielders could hardly pick up her throw due to darkness. The umpires convened one final time before calling the game 5-3 in favor of Texas A&M-Kingsville.

St. Edward’s will travel to Las Vegas, Nev. as they’ll compete in the Desert Stinger Classic. First pitch against Western New Mexico is set for 4:30 p.m. on Friday from Majestic Park. Live stats will be available on the Hilltopper Athletic Website.