CANYON, Texas – The #1 Lady Buffs of West Texas A&M made program history on Tuesday afternoon as they pushed their win streak to 19 games to register the longest win streak in WT history.
They swept the visiting Falcons of UT-Permian Basin in front of over 180 fans at Schaeffer Park in Canyon, Texas. The Lady Buffs move to 46-4 on the season while the Falcons fall to 11-37.
“Wasn’t the prettiest way to win two games but we’ll take it, give credit to UTPB for coming in and taking us out of our game a little and really playing well in all three phases of the game” said WT head coach Kevin Blaskowski “Now we finally get to turn our attention to this weekend and trying to win a conference title, Angelo State is a great team and we’ll have to be on top of our game because I know Coach Scott will have them ready to play on Friday night.”
The Lady Buffs return to action this weekend as they host the #7 Rambelles of Angelo State in a four-game Lone Star Conference series to decide the 2014 conference champion starting on Friday night with a doubleheader at 5 p.m. followed by a pair of games on Saturday afternoon with first pitch set for 1 p.m. as WT celebrates Military Appreciation Weekend. The regular season LSC champion also gains the right to host the LSC Tournament, the six team single-elimination tournament will take place on May 2-3.
Game #1 – West Texas A&M 4, UT-Permian Basin 3
The Falcons wasted no time scoring as the laced a single to left field to leadoff the game followed by a two run homerun to straightaway center field by Aurora Burks for the early 2-0 lead, UTPB wasn’t done yet as they tripled to right field before WT registered the first out on an attempted squeeze play followed by a strikeout and pop out to Jessica Sipe in foul territory around third base to end the inning.
The Lady Buffs failed to score in the bottom of the first inning but Rita Hokianga would lock-in for WT in the circle as the struck out the side in the top of the second inning with the first of the frame putting the junior left hander at 200 K’s for the season which ranks second in the WT single-season record book behind Shelbey Cockrell’s 280 strikeouts during the 2011 campaign.
WT threatened in the home half of the second inning as Kaisha Dacosin and Mallory Wyatt reached base with one out before the Falcons forced a strikeout for the second out followed by a Brittany Gehle single up the middle but Dacosin was thrown out at home trying to score to send the teams into the third inning with UTPB leading 2-0.
The second time through the order proved to be beneficial for the Lady Buffs as Alyssa Lemos led off the bottom of the third inning with a triple to the deepest part of the park in right center followed by Tyler Wilkinson walking on four pitches to put runners on the corners for Renee Erwin who sent an opposite field blast over the right field wall on an 0-2 count to give WT the 3-2 lead with no outs.
Sipe and Dacosin both registered hits followed by a groundout and a Wyatt infield single to load the bases with one out but UTPB forced an infield groundout to get an out at home followed by a popup to the shortstop as WT took the 3-2 lead into the fourth inning. WT added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning as Wilkinson took advantage of an errant Falcons throw as she scored from third base with two outs to run their lead to 4-2. The Falcons cut into the lead in the top of the fifth inning as they plated a run on a double steal with two outs and runners on the corners to cut the lead to 4-3.
Hokianga continued to roll through the Falcon lineup in the top of the sixth inning as the Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand native registered two more strikeouts to run her game total to 12 in the game, the Lady Buffs couldn’t capitalize in the home half of the frame as they went three-up and three-down to head to the seventh inning. The one run lead is all that Hokianga would need as she struck out the side to run her game total to 15 to tie a career high, the junior left (21-2) gave up three runs on five hits with no walks and the 15 strikeouts in the complete game victory.
Game #2 – West Texas A&M 8, UT-Permian Basin 1
The Lady Buffs got on the board first in the nightcap as they plated their first run on a Cranfill solo blast over the black monster in left field with one out in the home half of the second inning to take the early 1-0 lead.
WT added to its lead in the bottom of the third inning as Sipe drove a ball to the wall in left field for the sacrifice fly with no outs and the bases loaded followed by Wilkinson scoring from third base on a wild pitch, Dacosin lifted what looked to be a popup to right field but the wind turned it into a double as Erwin scored from third base to make it 4-0 with one out. UTPB’s Holly Herrington re-took the momentum as she registered a strikeout of Cranfill followed by a flyout to left field as WT took the 4-0 lead into the top of the fourth inning.
The Falcons threatened in the top of the fourth inning as Taleas Marble led off the frame with a single thru the left side followed by a wild pitch to move into scoring position before WT’s Hannah Newcomb responded with her fourth strikeouts of the game followed by a lineout to Sipe at the hot corner and a groundout to the circle to end the threat with the Lady Buffs leading 4-0.
UTPB plated their first run of the nightcap in the top of the fifth inning as Jennie Quam grounded out to Lyndsey Knabenshue at second base for the second out of the inning to drive in teammate Taylor Clancy from third base, Newcomb registered a two out walk to put runners on the corners with two outs before a groundout to Lemos at shortstop ended the inning with WT leading 4-1.
The Lady Buffs added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning as Dacosin doubled down the left field line with no outs to score Erwin and Sipe who singled earlier in the inning followed by a Cranfill double to the left center field gap to stretch the WT lead to 7-1, WT wasn’t done yet as Lemos singled to left center with two outs to drive in Cranfill to run the Lady Buff lead to 8-1 after five innings of play.
Newcomb picked up the win (16-2) in the circle for the Lady Buffs, giving up one run on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts in the complete game victory.