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ACU softball rally highlights Saturday's college action

ACU Katelyn Belch.jpg

Senior pitcher Hannah Null tossed a seven-inning shutout beating Incarnate Word 6-0 in game one, and then the Wildcats completed the three-game Southland Conference series sweep with their second walkoff win of the week, beating the Cardinals, 3-2, in the final game of the set at Wells Field.

The Wildcats are now 17-20 on the season and 10-8 in the Southland Conference after the sweep, while the Cardinals fall to 12-24 and 5-13. ACU is back in action Tuesday in Denton against North Texas at 6 p.m. before returning to Wells Field next weekend to close out the home portion of the 2018 season with a three-game set against Sam Houston State.

Here's a look at each game of Saturday's sweep of the Cardinals.

Game One (ACU 6, Incarnate Word 0) – For the second straight game, the Wildcats'bats came alive as they out-hit the Cardinals 12-3. Leftfielder Caroline Adair went 3 for 3 with one RBI to pace the Wildcats. Five additional Wildcats collected hits as Donelle Johnson, Allyson Bishoff, and Katelyn Belch each went 2 for 3, and Braegan Hamilton finishes 2 for 4.

Null struck out 10 batters and only gave up three hits with two walks on 100 pitches to improve to 13-10.

Scoring started early for the Wildcats as a hit by pitch, single and sacrifice bunt set up Peyton Hedrick to drive in Johnson with a sacrifice fly to center field. The Wildcats put up an additional run in each of the second and fourth innings.

The Wildcats put the game even further out of reach in the fifth, tacking on three more runs on four hits. Hedrick reached on a fielder's choice followed by a ground out and single to score. The final two runs of the game crossed the plate off Katelyn Belch's single to right field.

Game Two (ACU 3, Incarnate Word 2) – Neither the Wildcats or Cardinals could do much in the first two innings of the series finale, but during the third the Cardinals scored their first run of the series. The Wildcats answered right back with a run of their own on a bunt single by Allyson Bischoff. She reached safely and advanced to third on a throwing error by UIW catcher Breana Nevarez and crossed the plate when right fielder Delaney Guzman attempted to get Bischoff out at third but overthrew the ball into the Wildcats' dugout.

The Cardinals would answer back in the sixth scoring one run. The Wildcats waited until the seventh to earn their second walkoff win this week to go along with the 11-10 win over Texas Tech on Tuesday. Pinch-hitter Savannah Rendon who came in to hit for catcher Kayla Keeling and started the inning with a single to left center field. Two batters later, Belch reached first on a hit by pitch to move pinch runner Kennedy Ratliff to second. Ratliff scored on Donelle Johnson's bloop single, tying the game at 2-2.

Braegan Hamilton then hit a hard shot to UIW second baseman Lacie Stevens, who handled the hot shot and the game appeared to be headed to extra innings. However, her throw was out of the reach of the first baseman and Belch scored the game-winning run.

Null came into the game during the sixth inning to relieve starter Callie Burris to collect her third win of the weekend. Null tossed 1 2/3 hitless innings to improve to 14-10 after the weekend. Burris went 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits with three strikeouts.

Courtesy ACU Athletics

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