SAN ANTONIO, Texas — It was a cold and windy night when Southeastern’s Mamas of Drama struck for the first time in 2013.
And also struck for the second time.
Coach Ron Faubion’s LadyStorm softballers rode strong pitching and the booming bat of The Hammer, sophomore Whitney Hamilton, to a pair of come-from-behind wins in the first round of the St. Mary’s tournament.
The Hammer drilled a two-out, 3-run single off the wall in left-center to drive in the tying and winning runs in a 3-2 victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville in the first game.
The Storm surged to a 4-0 advantage in the first inning against Tarleton State, trailed 7-6 when the TexAnns scored four in the top of the fifth, tied it on Hammy’s solo homer in the bottom of the fifth, then won it on Hamilton’s one-out, 2-run double in the sixth.
That gave Southeastern a 2-0 edge over the Lone Star Conference and a 2-0 overall record.
Southeastern was slated to meet Texas Woman’s University and the University of the Incarnate Word in Saturday’s action before ending the trip against host St. Mary’s at 11:30 this morning.
Coach Faubion said, “It was two great wins for us. We have 17 on the roster and 17 played. We have a lot of new faces and we expected some miscommunication. We did some things wrong, but the mistakes are all correctable.
“I was really proud of the kids. They were down 2-0 in the sixth and came back, then had to rally in the sixth to win the second game. It was cold and windy, not good weather for softball. What really pleased me is that our kids never quit. They just kept battling. I think these wins will be better for us than a pair of blowouts.”
Leadoff hitter Jessica Simmons blistered the ball for five hits in eight at-bats, belted a double, scored three runs and stole three bases on the day.
Hamilton was three for seven with a home run, double, a run scored and six batted in, including the winning run in each game.
Courtney Moore was three for seven with a homer, double and three RBIs. Paige Priest had a sacrifice bunt and scored a run in each game.
LadyStorm 3 - Texas A&M-Kingsville 2
Mindy McElroy pitched 6.2 innings before Jacee Bennett came on with two outs and a 1-2 count on the winning run. She threw one ball before striking out the side and picking up a save.
McElroy gave up two runs on four hits while striking out three and walking one.
The Javelinas scored two runs in the bottom of the third on a pair of infield hits, a walk, throwing error on the catcher and a sacrifice fly.
Simmons had an infield single in the third for Southeastern’s lone hit before the Storm surged for three runs in the sixth. The two-run rally started when Priest walked, Darrian Williams singled up the middle and Moore walked to load the bases and set the stage for Hamilton, who rocketed a drive off the fence to make it 3-2, Storm.
Simmons was three for four, Williams and Hamilton each one for three for the Storm.
LadyStorm 9 - Tarleton State 7
Southeastern scored four in the first, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and won it with two in the sixth.
TSU picked up three in the fourth and four in the fifth.
Moore’s 2-run home run sparked the first inning. Tarleton State scored three in the fourth.
The Storm answered with two in the bottom of the fourth to make it 6-3 before TSU chased in four in the fifth to go ahead by a run at 7-6.
Hamilton slammed a solo homer to lead off the Storm fifth and knot the game at 7-7.
Simmons reached on an error to open the SE sixth, Priest sacrificed her to second and Williams was hit by a pitch for the second-straight time. Moore singled to load the bases and Hamilton smashed a two-run double to win it.
Bennett picked up the win with 6.1 innings of 4-hit, 3-run ball while walking one and striking out five.
Moore was three for four with a home run, double and three batted in for the Storm. Simmons was two for four, scored two and stole a base. Hamilton was two for four with a homer, double and three runs batted in. Shortstop Lacie Cook was two for three and scored a run.