Softball opens conference play

With an 8-2 conference record, the UTD softball team is primed for a run at the American Southwest Conference East division top spot.

Through 10 games the Comets are batting .357 and have a team ERA of 0.95. They have outscored opponents 55-15 during this span.

The team squared off March 19-20 against rival Mississippi College for two doubleheaders in which the Comets went 3-1.

In the opening doubleheader, the Comets struck early with a four-run first inning that came from four UTD hits and one Mississippi College error.

The four runs were enough for junior pitcher Jenelle Morrison, who struck out five Lady Choctaws while only allowing only five hits in the 5-0 shutout.

Mississippi College returned the early inning burst in the second game, scoring three runs in the top of the first and then extending their lead to 4-0 in the third.

The Comets outhit the Lady Choctaws 11-5, but were unable to overcome the deficit as they stranded eight runners on base in the 4-3 loss.

While the first two games featured the Comets relying on big innings early, the last two games featured late inning fireworks.

The first game was tied 1-1 when UTD roughed up the Lady Choctaws for four runs in the fifth inning as the Comets won 5-2. Eight Comets collected base hits in the effort.

The team saw themselves down by a run late in the second game until freshman catcher Andrina Arenas hit a triple that scored the tying run and then scored on an error for the decisive run in the sixth inning.

Morrison was then able to put Mississippi College away in the seventh for the 3-2 win, improving her season record to 5-1.

The Comets played host to LeTourneau on March 23 for a conference doubleheader.

In the first game, senior shortstop Laura Hatfield broke a 1-1 tie by hitting a bases-loaded triple in the fifth inning, allowing UTD to put the Lady Jackets away 4-1.

The Comets fell behind early in the second game as they allowed three runs in the first inning.

However, the Comets came back, scoring at least one run in each inning, including three in the third and four in the fifth to invoke the mercy rule for their fourth straight win.

Hatfield and freshman third baseman Amanda Craig each collected three hits and three RBIs in the 11-3 win.

The team will need to continue to play well in order to keep pace with East Texas Baptist (21-1, 8-0) and conference preseason favorite Louisiana College (19-3, 9-3).

The Comets have four games against both teams in the next few weeks in match-ups that could decide the conference champions.

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