The Oklahoma Panhandle State University softball team won its home opening game on Wednesday against New Mexico Highlands University, but the Cowgirls took the second game that had to be decided with an extra inning.
With near-perfect weather conditions, the Cowgirls got right down to business in game one as lead-off Erica Wieck doubled followed by a two-out home run from Shelby Watts for two runs. The Aggies answered with a single run when Kaitlin McCool singled, advanced to second on a sacrifice, and on to third on a passed ball. Emily Vasquez singled to get McCool home and Lilli Ward singled, but both those runners were left stranded to put the score at 2-1 for the visitors. After NMHU failed to get a run in the second, Brandi Heath hit a two-out double to bring home OPSU's third base runner followed by a double from Vasquez for the go-ahead run.
Both teams scored one run each in the fourth, and then the Aggies batted an exciting fifth inning. Ward singled and then Samantha Arledge hit a huge pitch over the left field fence for a homer. Krista Bomak took a base on balls followed by a Julie Cross triple that sent Bomak home. McCool singled, Cross scored and the Aggies surged ahead 8-3. Two more runs in the sixth closed out the scoring for the Aggies and the Cowgirls scored a lone run in the seventh for the final 10-4 score. Arledge threw a complete game, scattering nine hits and striking out three.
NMHU got on the board first in the second game with two runs in the second inning. Heath hit a sacrifice in the third to score Cross, the third-base runner. The Cowgirls scored two more in the fourth and the Aggies answered with a single run as NMHU went ahead 4-2. In the fifth, Cross hit a single, stole second and advanced to third and then scored on a Vasquez sacrifice fly. OPSU tied it up when Arledge's single sent Heath safely home. Neither team scored another run in the regulation seven innings, and in the eighth, Watts homered once again to put NMHU up by one. Even though OPSU had two hits, they could not turn either one into a run and the Cowgirls won the second game 5-4. Arledge took over pitching duty in the sixth with the score tied and was given the loss.
For the two games, Cross went 6-8 at the plate and had two RBIs. Arledge was 3-8 with four RBIs and Vasquez was 2-6 with three RBIs.
The women travel to Edmond to take on Oklahoma Christian University Mar. 15-16. They play a doubleheader Friday beginning at 3 p.m. and a single game Saturday at noon.