IRVING, Texas – The Mississippi University for Women baseball team had a much better outing in day two of the University of Dallas series but was unable to grab a victory. The Owls fell 11-4 in game two of the series and 6-5 in game three of the series to allow the Crusaders to complete the three game sweep.
Game Two (L, 11-4)
The first game of the day started off slow for the Owls. The W struggled to get on the board and was unable to stop the Crusader offense.
Dallas went on a scoring streak, tallying two runs in the first inning, two runs in the second inning, and six runs in the third inning.
Both teams went scoreless in the fourth but the Owls were finally able to place their mark on the board in the top of the fifth. RJ Cox singled up the middle to send Prince Tolbert home for a RBI and Eiland Clecker was able to score a run on an error to cut the Crusader lead to 10-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Crusaders scored their 11th and final run putting them up 11-2.
The W did not give up and was able to score an additional two runs in the top of the sixth. Nick Brooks singled to left field to bring Bobby Neal home for a RBI and Tolbert was able to grab his second run of the game off of a pitching error.
Six Owls players recorded hits against Dallas in game two; Brooks, Cleckler, Cox, Damain Benefield, Bobby Neal, and Tolbert. Tolbert, junior outfielder, led his team in runs with two and Brooks, Cox, and Benefield were responsible for one RBI each.
"We played a little better in this game than we did yesterday," said head coach Matt Wolfenbarger. "The biggest thing we have to do is stay away from big innings. Yesterday and today's games could have been a one-to-two run game going either way if we had just competed and played like we are capable of playing each inning.
Game Three (L, 6-5)
The Owls definitely had better luck in the third and final game of the series. With Anthony Sharp on the mound for 4.0 innings, The W was able to hold the Crusaders to one run in the first three innings of the game.
The Owls had their best inning so far this season in the third, scoring four runs against the Dallas defense. Sumpter Bass singled to left field to bring Prince Tolbert in for a RBI. Lukas Murphy singled up the middle to allow Heath Ford to score for a RBI and for the final two runs in the inning, Kyle Brown reached base on a fielder's choice which allowed Bass and Johndavid Birdsong to score for 2 RBIs.
The Owls held the lead and added an additional run in the top of the fifth. Birdsong was able to score on an error by the first baseman to put The W up 5-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, the tide changed for the Owls and the Crusaders were able to score two runs to tie the game at 5-5.
Dallas scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh to edge out The W 6-5 and close the game.
Ford and Bass had a successful outing at the plate going 2-for-4. Brown led the team in RBIs with two and Birdsong led the team in runs with two.
When asked about the team's effort in the final game of the series, Coach Wolf said "The guys did a really good job today. We pretty much held the lead the entire game until they tied it in the sixth and won it in the seventh. It's not a win but it's good to see that we can give ourselves a chance to win when we compete in every inning. I believe the players saw that in this game and it's definitely something we can build on."
Coach's Final Thoughts on the Weekend
"It is tough to go on the road and play ten hours away. The guys started off a little nervous and made some rookie mistakes but we got better each game and that's what I wanted to see. Every time we were down, we managed to score a few runs and that's always a good sign. I love the heart of this team and the fight and I know we will have a fun season."
Due to extreme weather conditions, game four of the series has been cancelled. The Owls will be back on the diamond on Friday, Feb. 16 when they take on Crowley's Ridge in their first game at home. The doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. at the Columbus High School Baseball Field.
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