BIG SPRING, Texas – Blinn College softball was able to outhit No. 7 Howard College in both games of a doubleheader, but Howard managed to defeat the Buccaneers 15-14 and 8-2 on Friday afternoon in Big Spring.
With the pair of losses, the Buccaneers fall to 6-8 overall.
Howard 15 – Blinn 1
The Buccaneers came back from an eight-run deficit in order to send the game into extra innings, but fell to Howard 15-14 in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Buccaneers offense was explosive against the seventh-ranked team in the nation as Blinn outhit Howard 17 to 13.
The wind turned the game between Blinn and Howard into a home run derby as each team posted four home runs in the game.
Courtney Ogle and Alivia Villarreal led the Blinn offense after each hitting a grand slam. Georgina Gonzales was next with three RBIs from a three-run bomb and Amber Langston hit a solo home run, while also scoring two runs. Calli Birch, Sydney Gutierrez and Villarreal joined in with two runs each.
Amber Langston led off the game with the first of Blinn's four home runs to give Blinn an early 1-0 lead. However, Howard College answered back with two runs in the first inning and two runs in the second inning to take a 4-1 lead.\
All it took was one swing of the bat to give Blinn back a 5-4 lead in the third inning after Villarreal hit a grand slam.
In the bottom of the third inning, Howard gained a 13-5 advantage after hitting a grand slam, two two-run homers and a solo shot to total nine runs.
Down by eight, the Buccaneers fought back to even the score 13-13 in the sixth inning.
The rally started in the fifth inning after Chelsea Armendariz hit a one-run single to score Gutierrez followed by a grand slam off Ogle's bat for Blinn to trail 13-10. In the sixth inning Gonzales hit a three-run homer to level the score 13-13.
The game remained tied until Blinn took a 14-13 lead in the ninth inning. The international tie breaker placed Lauren Coerver on second base and Makalah Norman used a one-run single for Blinn to take the lead.
Howard answered back with two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to claim a 15-14 win.
Howard 8 – Blinn 2
Although Blinn outhit Howard 11 to 10, Howard carried the momentum from the first game into the second to defeat the Buccaneers 8-2 for the sweep.
Villarreal led Blinn's offense after going 3-for-4, while Gutierrez went 2-for-3. Tori Alvarez-Lopez and Norman each drove in a run, while Ogle scored both of Blinn's runs.
The Buccaneers were on the board first in the second inning after Norman hit a one-run single for Ogle to score and Blinn to take a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second inning, Howard answered back with six runs.
Both teams didn't score again until the sixth inning. The Buccaneers scored their final run of the game after Alvarez-Lopez singled for Ogle to score and Blinn to trail 6-2. Howard tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the inning to pull ahead 8-2.
The Buccaneers will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 24 when Blinn takes on Midland College in a doubleheader starting at noon on the road.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 36 NJCAA national championships since 1987.