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LETU Sports Update 3-24-14

LONGVIEW, March 24, 2014— YourEastTexas.com brings you the latest in sports news from LeTourneau University.

Women’s Tennis:

The LeTourneau University women’s tennis lost to University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, 7-2 and Southwestern University, 6-3 on Saturday, at the Davis Tennis Courts in Longview. LeTourneau University head women’s tennis coach Suzanne Merritt was prod of the hard work from her team. “We had some tough battles against two strong teams, Mary Hardin-Baylor and Southwestern University. We are seeing good results as they continue to play better with each match.” The YellowJackets (6-7) started the day with an ASC matchup against the LadyCru, who took all three of the doubles matches. In singles action, LeTourneau senior Sarah Case snapped a two-match losing skid with a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles. The other victory for LeTourneau came at No. 5 singles with Miranda Lamb picking up a 6-0, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7) win. In the second match of the day, the YellowJackets dropped a 6-3 decision to Southwestern University, who had played at Centenary in Shreveport earlier in the day. Case picked up her second win of the day with a win at No. 1 singles as she defeated Aimee Blake, 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8). With the two wins, Case improves to .500 on the season with a 6-6 mark. The other singles victory for LeTourneau came from senior Kayla Bonina at No. 3 singles, who improves to 10-2. Bonina has won eight of her last 10 matches; plus the 10 wins are a team-high for the Carrollton native. The third victory came when Case and Bonina teamed up for an 8-0 win at No. 1 doubles. The YellowJackets will next travel to Mississippi College for an ASC match on Friday, Mar. 28 at 2 p.m.

Men’s Tennis:

The LeTourneau University men’s tennis picked up a pair of wins defeating Mary Hardin-Baylor, 5-4 and Southwestern University, 6-3 on Saturday at the Davis Tennis Courts in Longview. The YellowJackets (10-3) extended their winning streak to four with the two wins. The day began with LeTourneau taking all three doubles matches from Mary Hardin-Baylor. It was the third-straight match that the YellowJackets have took all three of the doubles matches. With a 3-0 lead in the match, LeTourneau picked up the win with victories at No. 2 singles by Laird Beaty and at No. 3 singles by Sindre Johnsgaard. Beaty defeated his opponent, 6-0, 6-3 and Johnsgaard was also victorious in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. “All the guys have stepped up their doubles play the last two weeks and it made the difference for us today,” said LeTourneau University head tennis coach Suzanne Merritt. “Laird Beaty and Sindre Johnsgaard each had great wins in singles to secure the match.” LeTourneau wrapped up the day with a match against Southwestern University, who had earlier in the day played a match against Centenary in Shreveport. The YellowJackets shuffled their lineup after such a grueling match against UMHB. Among the changes was at No. 6 singles where Merritt inserted freshman Kevin Warren into the lineup. Plus, senior Josh Bailey played at No. 4 singles in just his second singles match of the spring. Bailey teamed up with Michael McLaughlin for a 9-7 win at No. 3 doubles to begin the match for the YellowJackets; however, the visiting Pirates took the other two matches. With wins at No. 2 (Sindre Johnsgaard) and No. 3 (Michael McLaughlin), the YellowJackets were ahead of Southwestern, 3-2. With the match still to be decided, the remaining four matches were engaged into tiebreakers. Bailey picked up the come-from-behind at No. 4 singles, winning 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-3) to give LeTourneau a 4-2 advantage. The Pirates picked up a win at No. 1 singles, cutting the LeTourneau lead to 4-3 with two matches to play. Surrounded by support from teammates and fellow LeTourneau students’ attention moved to No. 5 singles – Morgan Weaver and No. 6 singles – Kevin Warren. A win by either Weaver or Warren would clinch the match for the YellowJackets. Warren, who was in a third-set tiebreaker, clinched the match with an 11-9 win. The win for the Ingram, Texas native was the first of his collegiate career and prompted a jubilant celebration among the fans as well as his teammates. Moments later, Weaver picked up at win in his second-set tie breaker for the final margin. The YellowJackets will next travel to Mississippi College for an ASC match on Friday, Mar. 28 at 2 p.m.

Softball:

After splitting a doubleheader on Friday, the LeTourneau University women’s Softball team wrapped up the weekend series with a 4-0 win over Sul Ross State. The YellowJackets (10-13, 7-11 ASC) were led offensively by senior Anna Winter, who went 3-for-3 with two RBI, freshman Whitney Judd, who went 2-for-4 with a run scored and sophomore Halee Pryor, who went 1-for-3 with two RBI in the win. In the circle, LeTourneau senior Kelli Parton picked up her second-straight shutout. The Henderson native allowed just three hits and struck out six in the complete game win to raise her record to 5-4. The Lobos (3-20, 3-15 ASC) stranded a base runner in the first two innings before Parton and the LeTourneau defense took control. Parton retired eight-straight batters midway through the contest until allowing a single in the fifth inning. Sul Ross State had just one runner in scoring position for the entire contest. Le Tourneau took a 1-0 lead in the third on a RBI single by Winter. They added to their lead in the fifth, scoring twice. In the inning, the YellowJackets loaded the bases for the Southlake native, who delivered a RBI single to stretch the margin to 2-0. The next batter – Pryor – singled up the middle scoring Megan Hill and Jourdan Glover, who had walked earlier in the inning to put the host YellowJackets ahead 4-0. The YellowJackets will next travel to Texas-Tyler for a three-game series that gets underway on Friday, Mar. 28 at 4 p.m.

Baseball:

The LeTourneau University Baseball team dropped a twinbill to host Mississippi College, 2-1 and 14-11 on Saturday afternoon. The YellowJackets (16-5, 11-4 ASC) lost their first series of the season in the process. In both contests, LeTourneau held leads late into the contest until the host Choctaws rallied for a pair of come-from-behind wins. Mississippi College (8-11, 7-8 ASC) scored twice in the bottom of the seventh in game one and rallied from an 11-9 deficit to score five runs in the seventh and eighth inning to pick up a 14-11 win in game two.

Game 1

Garrett Methvin, Sean Sellers and Bryce Griffin each had two hits but the rest of the LeTourneau order was held without a hit in a 2-1 loss. LeTourneau took a 1-0 lead in the first as Griffin and Sellers singled to start the game, the two moved to second and third, respectively following a sacrifice bunt. Then, Methvin picked up his first RBI of the game with a single up the middle. The game remained 1-0 until the seventh inning. With one out, the Choctaws’ Tate Ratcliff singled up the middle. He moved to second on a ground out for the second out of the inning. With two out, then, Layton Grant singled to left field, scoring Ratcliff just ahead of the throw to tie the game at 1. After a LeTourneau pitching change, Grant stole second and the Choctaws’ Robbie Jernigan doubled down the right-field line to score Grant for the come-from-behind win. LeTourneau starter Cody Whitley picked up the loss for his first defeat on the season, falling to 4-1. MC starter Jayme Monroe went the distance, allowing six hits and an earned to run to improve to 1-4.

Game 2:

The final game of the series went back and forth as the two teams combined for 31 hits and 25 runs in the contest as the host Choctaws came away with a 14-11 win. For LeTourneau, three-different YellowJackets  -- Micah Montes, Caleb Pritchett and Dillon Yates -- each had three hits; plus Sean Sellers and Bryce Griffin each had two hits to lead a 15-hit attack. Montes also had three RBI and Pritchett, Garrett Methvin and Sean Sellers each drove in two. For Mississippi College, Hunter Bolin, Marty Stringfellow and Spencer Wilson each had three hits to lead a 16-hit attack. Wilson and Robbie Jernigan each had three RBI in the win. LeTourneau overcame an early 1-0 deficit to take a 5-1 lead with a five-run second inning. The Choctaws cut the deficit to three, 5-3, when they scored twice in the fourth inning. The YellowJackets added to their lead in the fifth when they plated three for an 8-3 advantage for their largest lead of the weekend. After scoring a run in the sixth, Mississippi College scored five more in the sixth to regain the lead 9-8. The lead went back and forth in the seventh, LeTourneau took an 11-9 lead on a two-RBI single by Methvin. However, the lead and momentum swung towards the Choctaws when they scored four times in their half of the inning to take 13-11 lead. They added an insurance run in the eighth for the win. The YellowJackets return to Longview for its next four games including an out-of-conference game on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Conrad-Vernon Field against Wiley College. LeTourneau comes into the contest with an 11-0 mark at home.

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