BRENHAM, Texas – Blinn College softball didn't lack any offense in scoring 17 runs to beat No. 17 Howard College 17-7 in five innings Friday afternoon in the nightcap of a doubleheader at Hohlt Park.
The Buccaneers had plenty of offense in the opening game but Howard was able to outscore Blinn 14-10 as both teams were able to claim a game in the doubleheader.
With the split, Blinn's overall record moves to 3-4 on the season after the home-opening games.
Howard 14 – Blinn 10
On two different occasions, Blinn had a four-run lead over Howard but the visiting Hawks stormed back to earn a 14-10 victory.
Alyssa Hitt and Nicole Garcia each brought in three runs. Garcia hit a double and three singles for a 4-for-5 game while Hitt had a double and two singles. Katy Sawyer had the other RBI while Gabriela Gomez hit two singles in the loss.
Howard was able to score three runs in the opening inning but that lead didn't last long as Blinn went to work in the bottom half. The Buccaneers loaded the bases with singles by Garcia and Kalli Edwards while Shelby Achille drew a walk. Sawyer drove in the first run with an RBI single to right-center to get within 3-1.
Edwards and Achille later scored on an error to tie the game at 3-3. Hitt followed with a two-run double to left-center for a 5-3 lead. Hitt was able to score the sixth run after a single by Morgan Gray and an error and then Garcia capped the scoring with her second single of the inning to plate Gray for a 7-3 lead after an inning.
Howard scored a run in the top of the third to get within 7-4 of Blinn. The Buccaneers got that run right back in the bottom half when Gomez led off with a double and then was brought in by an RBI single by Hitt to right field for an 8-4 lead. Howard would charge back to take the lead with seven runs in the fifth and three in the seventh for a 14-8 advantage.
Down to its final three outs, Blinn showed signs of life in the bottom of the seventh when Gomez doubled and Hitt singled to get on base. Garcia drove both in with a double to center to get within 14-10 but that would be the final runs scored by the Buccaneers in the four-run loss.
Blinn 15 – Howard 7
Blinn came out strong after losing the first game and had the offense working and scored 17 runs in a 15-7 mercy rule victory over Howard to close the doubleheader.
Achille was able to bring in two runs with a double and a single. Edwards brought in three runs on a double while Garcia had two RBIs behind two singles. Emily Noah, Hitt, Amy Alexander and Sawyer each had an RBI in the impressive offensive performance.
Noah got the win in the circle after pitching 3 1-3 innings while giving up five earned runs and striking out two. Sam Junkin came on in relief and earned the final five outs and didn't allow a run while striking out one.
Howard was able to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning but that lead wouldn't last. Noah started the second with a double and then scored after an RBI single by Calli Birch to tie the game up at 1-1. Sawyer drew a bases-loaded walk to give Blinn a 2-1 lead. Garcia followed with an RBI single to center field for the third run and Hitt scored on the next play on an error for a 4-1 lead.
Achille brought in a pair with a double to left for a 6-1 lead. Noah brought in a run with a sacrifice fly to right and Alexander capped the scoring with an RBI single to left to give the Buccaneers an 8-1 lead. Howard would crawl back into the game with six runs in the fourth inning but Blinn would regain its cushion in the bottom half.
Hitt was able to push across the first run in the fourth inning with a bases-loaded walk for an 9-7 lead. Birch scored the 10th run and then Garcia made the score 11-7 with a single to left. Edwards brought in a pair with a double to left for a 13-7 lead and then Edwards later scored on an error for a 14-7 lead after four innings.
Chelsea Armendariz started the fifth with a double for Blinn and then Gray came in to pinch run and eventually scored to give the Buccaneers a 15-7 victory in five innings.
Blinn will be back in action Saturday, February 4 at home against Odessa College. The doubleheader with Odessa begins at 10 a.m. at Hohlt Park.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 34 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.
About Blinn College
With an enrollment of 19,422 students, Blinn ranks among the nation's leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence. For more information, visit www.blinn.edu.