The Austin College softball team fell in both halves of its season-opening doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon at Howard Payne, dropping game one 2-0 and game two 12-7. The 'Roos will be looking to bounce back on Friday when they host Southwestern Assemblies of God at 5:00 p.m. in the home opener.
In the first game of the day, Tori Herrera tossed a gem, striking out nine batters with zero walks and allowing just one earned run, but an error in the bottom of the second opened the door for the only two runs of the game for HPU. Beth Massey went 3-for-3 at the dish in her debut for Austin College but the 'Roos were unable to generate any scoring of their own in the two run loss.
In game two, Austin College jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Ashley Mayorga scored on a wild pitch and Cassidy McDaris stole home, but HPU answered with three runs in the bottom of the second. The 'Roos regained the lead in the top of the third on a two-run double by Coutney Gonzales, but Howard Payne blew things open with an eight-run frame in the bottom half of the inning to go on top 11-4.
Raquel Vara knocked in a pair of runs and Mayorga brought home another run on a single to cut it to an 11-7 game after the top of the sixth, but HPU would score one more in the bottom half of the inning and the 'Roos went down in order in the seventh.
Mayorga went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, and Gonzales and Vara went 1-for-3 and 1-for-4, respectively, with two RBI apiece. Gonzales took the loss in the circle, surrendering five runs - four earned - without recording an out after coming on in relief.