The University of Dallas softball team finished off their home schedule dropping three of four games to Southwestern University this past weekend.
The team played doubleheaders on both Friday and Sunday.
The Crusaders jumped to early leads in both games on Friday, striking in the bottom of the first inning in game one on an RBI groundout from freshman Gabbie Underwood to take a 1-0 lead. The SU Pirates went into the fourth with a 3-1 lead, but after getting the first two batters out in the top of the fourth, Southwestern exploded for nine hits and eight runs to take an 11-1 lead.
The Crusaders got a run back in the bottom frame on an RBI double by freshman Alicia Enciso, but the Pirates added another in the top of the fifth to win 12-2.
Again the Crusaders struck first in the second game, this time in the second inning as Underwood led off the inning with a double and came around to score on freshman Liz Cordova’s single in the next at bat to take another 1-0 lead.
Dallas held on to the lead going into the fifth inning, giving up just two hits in the process. However, the Pirates woke up, scoring a combined nine runs in the fifth and sixth to take a 9-1 lead that would give them the win.
“We had a rough day on Friday,” junior Tera Espinosa said. “Our defense was shaky and we didn’t hit as well as we would’ve liked.”
The Crusaders compiled ten hits and five errors in the two games.
Sunday was senior day for the Crusaders, as they played their last two home games of the season.
This time the Pirates struck first, scoring three runs in the first inning and taking a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the third.
Enciso homered in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 5-2, but the score remained that way heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Cordova led the sixth inning off with a double, and then Southwestern loaded the bases with a walk and hit by pitch.
Cordova scored on a wild pitch, and then sophomore Mackenzie Tano hit an infield single to drive in another run, cutting the lead to 5-4. Sophomore Lauren Galvan and Enciso both walked,bringing in another run to tie the game. Tano then scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch, and two batters later Underwood singled to drive in two more and put the Crusaders up 8-5.
Pitcher Maggie Watts kept the Pirates off the board in the top of the seventh to close out the win for the Crusaders.
“Southwestern is a very good team offensively with a lot of power, but we definitely took every opportunity to match that,” junior Mel Savala said.
In the second half of the doubleheader, Southwestern again struck first, scoring two in the first, one in the third, and two in the fourth to take a 5-0 lead going into the bottom half of the fourth inning.
The Crusaders fought back, however, as Cordova hit an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth followed by a triple from Savala that scored two, cutting it to 5-3. The Crusaders scored three more runs the next inning to take the lead 6-5.
They carried the lead into the seventh inning, but Galvan couldn’t close it out on the mound, surrendering three hits and a run before she was relieved by Emily Martin with runners on first and second. Martin gave up an RBI single to the first batter she faced, and the Crusaders fell 7-6.
The team was still happy with the overall results Sunday.
“We played for each other,” Espinosa said. “We never got down or let errors snowball. We came together as a team and it showed in the overall scores.”
“We play at our best when we’re having fun and maintaining a positive and consistent energy, and I definitely think that’s what we had this weekend,” Savala said.
The Crusaders will face the Pirates again in the first round of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) tournament on Friday.
“Southwestern is a really fun team to play against,” Savala said. “We’re really excited to go against them in the first round.”