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HSU Softball Season Opener By: Alex Guillory

The Hardin-Simmons University Cowgirls played their season opener doubleheader Feb. 10 against the Southwestern Pirates.

The Cowgirls finished with several victories: a 6-5 clinch, a 5-0 shutout and a 6-5 clinch. The first game of the doubleheader was a nail-biter with the win going to junior Aubrianna Salazar, an exercise science major from Abilene. This win was made possible by the hot bats of Lindsey Ratcliffe, Audrey Solomon, Haven Williams and Ella Salinas.

Ratcliffe is a junior sports management and recreation major from Harker Heights. Solomon is a senior exercise science major from Melissa. Williams is a graduate pursuing her master’s degree in kinesiology from Abilene. Salinas is a freshman exercise science major from San Antonio.

Ratcliffe had two RBIs while the other three girls had one each. The Cowgirls went into the bottom of the seventh inning with the game tied up at 5-5. Solomon went in to pinch hit with two outs and runners at first and second. She hit a line drive for a double to score the runner at third and walked off the game. The Cowgirls’ first win was one for the books.

The second game was a quick and efficient one, with the Cowgirls winning 5-0. Kaylen Washington, a senior psychology major from Abilene, was the starting pitcher and went for 5 innings before Kylie Ruiz, a sophomore nursing major from Harlingen, came in for relief and secured the win.

On Feb. 11 the Cowgirls had their second doubleheader for the weekend. The Cowgirls went seven innings scoring only five to Trinity’s eight runs. At the bottom of the seventh, Salinas came in clutch once again with a three-run homerun to tie up the game. The two teams went into extra innings and played a total of nine before the game was complete. The Cowgirls went into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 9-11. The Cowgirls tied it up with a double from Sarah Diessner, a senior business major from Trophy Club, and then Diessner scored on a wild pitch to win the game. The Cowgirls won the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and clinched another victory after three hours of playing.

The second game of the doubleheader was another late scoring game with the Cowgirls only winning 3-2 with their runs scored in the late sixth and seventh innings. Salinas finished off her debut weekend by scoring two more RBIs. Williams clinched a win in the circle by going seven innings with only four hits, four walks and two runs.

The Cowgirls made a statement by going 4-0 on their opening weekend, with four games that caused players, coaches and fans alike to have their hearts racing. Many freshmen made their collegiate debuts and had their first career hits, and seasoned players continued to make a big impact on the Cowgirl's legacy. Be sure to check the HSU Cowgirl softball schedule for the rest of their games this season.


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