FORT WORTH – The University of Houston-Victoria softball team got the 2017 season off on a good note going 2-1 during the opening day of the NAIA College Cowtown Classic at Gateway Park on Friday.
The Jaguars opened tournament play winning their seventh season-opening contest in their 10 year history as they rallied for a 6-5 win over Avila University (Mo.).
The 18th-ranked Jaguars then got a spectacular pitching performance from Haley Beam (SR/Pearland, Texas) in a 1-0 victory over 20th-ranked Central Methodist, before falling to top-ranked and defending national champion Oklahoma City 4-1.
The Jaguars will return to action Saturday with two more tournament games. UHV will face Tabor College (KS) in a 1 p.m. contest and then go up against Texas Wesleyan University at 3 p.m.
Down 5-0 going to the sixth inning against Avila, the Jaguars erupted for six runs in the sixth to capture the come-from-behind victory.
Madeline Herrera (JR/Baytown, Texas) and Savannah Crittenden (SR/LaPorte, TX) each had bases-loaded walks, while Jordan Hoefling (SO/Victoria, TX), Gabby Davila (SO/Houston, TX) and Michelle Revels (SO/Corpus Christi, TX) each had RBI singles in the inning. Aubri Hockenbury (SR/Santa Fe, TX) also added a sacrifice fly. Crittenden went the distance in the circle to notch the win.
Beam held the Central Methodist bats in check allowing just two bases runners in the game, one on a first inning walk and the second on a one-out double in the fourth. She also struck out four in grabbing the win.
Crittenden drove home the lone run with a third-inning double that plated Marissa Longoria (FR/Houston, TX) who had walked. The Jaguars also got a single from Emily Flores (FR/Houston, TX) and a double from Beam in the game.
Oklahoma City tallied solo runs in the first and sixth and two in the fifth to snap the Jaguars' two-game win streak.
UHV scored its lone run in the fourth on singles from Crittenden and Hockenbury and a OCU error.
Revels was tagged with the loss tossing five innings before giving way to Beam to start the sixth.