Buccaneers open Abilene Tournament with two wins

ABILENE, Texas — Blinn College softball (10-5) opened the Abilene Tournament with two wins over Ranger College and No. 5 Tyler Junior College before falling to No. 11 Howard College Friday.

The Buccaneers took down Ranger in extra innings, 9-5 and upset Tyler, 9-3. Howard came out on top, 5-2, in Blinn's last game of the day.  

Blinn 9 – Ranger 5

Seven late runs allowed the Buccaneers to top Ranger, 9-5, in the eighth inning, to open the tournament with momentum.

Alysa Torres earned the win after tossing all eight innings and surrendering just one earned run on nine hits, while striking out four.

On offense, Anna Pisaro, Courtney Ogle and Mackenzie Crews led the Buccaneers with two RBIs apiece, while Maria Garcia scored two runs.

Blinn and Ranger each got on the board with one run in the third inning on errors.  Back-to-back errors allowed Tori Alvarez-Lopez to get on base and then score, while a two-out error by Blinn allowed Ranger to even the score 1-1.

Blinn took back a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning after Garcia scored on a groundout following two errors.

A three-run fifth inning for the Rangers put them ahead 4-2, however Blinn came back with three runs of its own in the sixth inning. Amber Langston was the first to score on a groundout, while a two-run shot off the bat of Ogle gave Blinn a 5-4 lead.

The Rangers leveled the score in the sixth inning and a scoreless inning on both sides sent the game into extra innings.

The Buccaneers scored four runs in the top of the eighth inning for the win. Garcia scored first on an error, while Crews hit a two-run single for Pisaro and Lexi Harris to score. Crews stole home to record Blinn's final run.

Blinn 9 – Tyler 3

Blinn's biggest win of the day was against the fifth-ranked Tyler Apaches that the Buccaneers defeated, 9-3. 

Ashley Richardson was solid in the circle to seal the win. She threw seven innings, allowing just three runs on seven hits, while striking out three.

Blinn's offense was stellar, totaling 13 hits. Garcia went 3-for-4, while Alvarez-Lopez drove in two runs. Kimber Cortemelia, Alvarez-Lopez and Garcia each scored two runs, while Cortemelia and Alvarez-Lopez each hit solo home runs to contribute to the win.

Blinn jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first two innings. Garcia and Langston each hit one-run singles, while Garcia scored on an error for Blinn to lead 3-0 in the opening inning. Alvarez-Lopez tacked on a run for Blinn with a solo home run in the second inning

After Tyler scored one run in the third inning, the Buccaneers added four more runs to the board before the Apaches scored again. Ogle's line-drive double, an error  and a one-run single by Crews allowed Blinn to score three runs in the third inning .Cortemelia hit one over the fence in the fourth inning for the Buccaneers to lead 8-1.

Tyler scored its final runs in the fifth inning with a two-run blast.

Blinn extended its lead to 9-3 in the bottom half of the fifth after Alvarez-Lopez hit a single to score Harris.

Howard 5 – Blinn 2

Blinn and Howard each tallied six hits, but the Hawks were able to produce more runs to defeat the Buccaneers, 5-2.

Langston recorded Blinn's only RBI, while Bailey Zibelin led the Buccaneers with two hits.

Meghan Morris was strong in the circle, pitching all six innings and only surrendering three earned runs, while striking out three.

Howard was able to break away for a 3-0 lead in the third inning and kept it for good.

Blinn chipped away at Howard's lead by scoring two runs in the fifth inning. Zibelin scored Blinn's first run on an error, while Langston hit a single for Alvarez-Lopez to score and Blinn to trail by one.

However, Howard answered back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull ahead 5-2.

Blinn will conclude the tournament on Saturday, Feb. 23, against Midland College at 9 a.m. and Navarro College at 11:30 a.m.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 38 NJCAA national championships since 1987.