War Hawks top Cowgirls in showdown



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War Hawks top Cowgirls in showdown

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  • War Hawks top Cowgirls in showdown

    ABILENE, Texas – It probably doesn't matter if it's an intercollegiate athletic event or a game of checkers:  if McMurry University and Hardin-Simmons are involved, it will likely provide some thrills.  The latest incarnation of the "crosstown showdown" – this time in the sport of softball – saw the first-ever meeting between the schools land in the War Hawks' "W" column, 7-6, on the Cowgirls' home turf.


    The difference in the game came via some late-inning fireworks off the bat of freshman – and former Abilene High School player – Kayla Otis in the top of the seventh inning.  With one out and the game knotted at 6-6, Otis crushed the first pitch from HSU hurler Gabby Ortega that landed well over the left-centerfield fence, putting the War Hawks on top to stay.


    Otis had quite an afternoon in heading the victory. In addition to her game-winning homer, Otis also slapped a two-run double in the first inning, as McMurry took a 3-0 lead after its opening at-bats. The Cowgirls, in true HSU-McM rivalry fashion, fought back to plate two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame.


    In the top of the second, junior firstbaseman Rachel Ripley slugged her second homerun in as many game for McM. Ripley's roundtripper to right-centerfield put her team ahead, 4-2. But HSU again matched McM in the inning to get back to within one, 4-3.


    The War Hawks tallied for the third-consecutive inning with a pair of runs in the third.  An RBI singles by Lexi De La Cruz scored Summer Quiroga, who had reached on an error. Sarah Nagy grounded out to third, allowing Adrienne Nairn to trot home to make it 6-3.


    That scored stood until the bottom of the fifth. The Cowgirls got to McM starter Cheyenne West for three runs – only one of which was earned – to knot the game at 6-6 and set the stage for Otis' big seventh inning blast.


    Crystal Peebles threw the final two innings from the circle and was the benefactor of Otis' long ball, improving her personal record to 2-1 on the year. Peebles allowed just one hit and her one strikeout was the final out of the game.


    Quiroga joined Otis in going 2-for-4 from the plate. Each scored a run, as well. Ripley had two runs scored on the afternoon.


    In all, the War Hawks were out-hit by the Cowgirls, 12-6, in the game. HSU stranded six runners and McMurry five.