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East Texas Baptist Awaits Opponent for ASC Softball Championship
April 26, 2002

No. 11-ranked East Texas Baptist advanced to the ASC Softball Championship game for a third straight year with a pair of wins in Friday's opening games. ETBU will face the winner of the Mississippi College-Mary Hardin-Baylor semifinal game (11 a.m.) at 1 p.m. Saturday in Irving, Texas.

East Division champion East Texas Baptist (35-6) opened defense of its ASC title with a 2-1 win vs. Howard Payne in the first round, then upended West Division champion Mary Hardin-Baylor 6-1 in round two.

In other tournament games, UMHB (25-16) took a close 1-0 win against Mississippi College in round one. Mississippi College (25-13-1) then eliminated Howard Payne (24-17) to move on to the semifinal game and a rematch with Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Game One: Mary Hardin-Baylor 1, Mississippi College 0 (Box Score)
In the bottom of the fifth inning, pinch-hitter Lacey Drake reached on a single to left field, advanced to third on an error, then scored the winning run on Megan Foster's single up the middle to give Mary Hardin-Baylor (25-15) a 1-0 win in the opening game of the ASC Softball Championship.

UMHB hurler Mindi Sheppard (13-4) tossed a three-hit shutout and got offensive help from left fielder Denise Lira who was 2-for-3.

Katie Waterbury (22-11) took a four-hit loss for Mississippi College (24-13-1).

Game Two: East Texas Baptist 2, Howard Payne 1 (Box Score)
East Texas Baptist scored twice in the bottom of the sixth for a come-from-behind 2-1 win the first round of the ASC Softball Championship.

Howard Payne (24-16) scored a run in the top of the third when Samantha Graham drove-in Lindsay Sinclair with a single to center field.

ETBU (34-6) threatened in the fifth, then came through with the winning runs in the bottom of the sixth. Angela Gonzales doubled-in Candice Bell for the first run, then a RBI fielder's choice by Erica Hardy pushed pinch-runner Holly Babineaux across for the game-winning score.

Alicia Taylor (19-1) came on in relief of starter Devin Howard for the win.

Alisha Kirk (14-8) gave-up five hits in the loss.

Game Three: Mississippi College 11, Howard Payne 1 (5 inn.) (Box Score)
Mississippi College scored runs in each of its at-bats, run-ruling Howard Payne 11-1 in five innings. The loss eliminated HPU (24-17) from the tournament and kept the Lady Choctaws (25-13-1) alive in the ASC Softball Championship title chase.

Howard Payne took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Samantha Graham's two-out single to center scored Lindsay Sinclair. Mississippi College came back in the bottom half of the first, scoring twice to take the lead.

MC added four runs in the second, three in third and two in the fourth. Nicole Jones collected two hits, including a two-run triple in the third.

Katie Waterbury (23-11) gave-up four hits in the win. Suzanne Blackwell (6-6) allowed nine runs and six hits in the loss.

Game Four: East Texas Baptist 6, Mary Hardin-Baylor 1 (Box Score)
East Texas Baptist capitalized on six Mary Hardin-Baylor errors in posting a 6-1 victory in the second round of the ASC Softball Championship. ETBU (35-6) advances to the championship game while UMHB (25-16) faces Mississippi College in the semifinal game.

The Lady Tigers went ahead 2-0 on a pair of unearned runs in the top of the second, then added another score in the fifth on a Candice Bell RBI single. Mary Hardin-Baylor got on the scoreboard in the bottom of five when Denise Lira singled to left, scoring Danah Merck from second base. Three ETBU runs on a hit and two UMHB errors in the seventh sealed the Lady Tigers' victory.

Alicia Taylor improved to 20-1 with a eight-strikeout, three-hit effort while teammate Kristen Abernathy came on in the fifth for her seventh save of the season. Sarah Lemons (8-8) took the loss.

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