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FHU Softball stumbles in NAIA tournament opener

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By Dustin Semore
FHU Information Director
After claiming the Mid-South Conference title, the (RV) Freed-Hardeman University Lady Lions drew the No. 3 seed in a tough Oklahoma City bracket where their first test was against the second-seeded (RV) University of Houston-Victoria Jaguars. Despite a neutral-site win against UHV in the regular season, FHU fell in the first round of the 2024 NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round 4-0.
A pitchers’ duel saw both the Lady Lions (31-17) and the Jaguars retired in order across the first inning and a half until a UHV single led off the bottom of the second. After a sacrifice bunt, Chloe Winters buckled down to strike out the next two batters and strand the runner.
The Lady Lions hoped to jump on the Jaguars (33-12) in the top of the third when Grayson Mayo led off the frame with a walk before moving to scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Karli Quillin laced a single up the middle, but a perfect throw from the outfield cut Mayo down at the plate to keep the scores level.
A fielder’s choice in the bottom of the fifth saw a close play at the plate go UHV’s way to score the first run of the game before the Jaguar speed saw two runners tap home on a wild pitch to take a 3-0 lead after five.
A leadoff single turned into an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth to wrap up the scoring on the 4-0 loss for the Lady Lions.
Chloe Winters (9-6) struck out three batters and allowed just one walk in the loss.
Karli Quillin had two hits for FHU, with Chloe Carter and Olivia White each connecting for one.

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