HOUSTON, Texas — Ohio used a big second inning to knock off Stephen F. Austin 7-3 in the Ladyjacks' season opener Friday at the Hilton Houston Plaza Invitational.
SFA freshman starter Carlie Thomas (0-1) worked around a leadoff single in the first inning, but was touched for four hits and seven runs in the second to spot the Bobcats a big early lead.
Ohio used a pair of walks and a single by Jordan Paden to load the bases with no outs. A groundout and a fielding error pushed the first two runs across. The Bobcats loaded the bases again with a single down the left field line by Jillian Van Wagnen, then Thomas walked in the third run. Melissa Bonner and Lauren Gellerman followed with back-to-back doubles to put four more runs up, and that was all Ohio would need.
SFA went hitless through the first three innings before Bethany Brown singled up the middle with two out in the top of the fourth. She moved to second when Jessica Arana drew a walk, but the inning ended on a groundout.
The Ladyjacks got something going in the fifth, when Lacy Liles and Amber Price got back-to-back singles with one out. Lauren Luetge then grounded out behind the runners to the right side, allowing both Liles and Price to advance a station. Elizabeth Arana then singled through the middle, bringing Liles across the plate. The next batter, Cadie Weaver, reached on an error with Price scoring.
SFA put its last run up in the seventh inning. Price led off with a single down the left field line, then advanced to second on a ground ball by Elizabeth Arana two at-bats later. Price took third on a wild pitch, then scored on a Weaver base knock to center.
For her part, Thomas held Ohio to no further damage, finishing with six earned runs on seven hits and four walks. The Bobcats had only two hits after their big second inning. She recorded two strikeouts in her Ladyjack debut.
The Ladyjacks finished with six hits, led by Price's 2-for-3 performance. She scored twice. Elizabeth Arana and Weaver each went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Brown and Liles each were 1-for-3.
The Ladyjacks will be back in action Saturday with two games. SFA takes on No. 8 Michigan at 11 a.m., then squares off with Southern Illinois at 5.