TYLER, Texas – The Huntingdon softball team got off to a tough start in the first round of the Division III Regional at the University of Texas-Tyler. The Lady Hawks were held to one hit as fourth-ranked Pacific Lutheran took an 8-0 win in five innings.
"We played a very good ball team," Huntingdon head coach Gynger Williams said. "They have experience at this level and you could tell it from the first inning. At the same time, you could see our inexperience at this level. We need to grow and learn from this and come back with a different plan tomorrow."
Huntingdon (28-14) will play Birmingham-Southern (34-10) in an elimination game at 11 a.m. on Saturday. BSC lost to 13th-ranked Redlands 6-4 in the first round.
Friday marked Huntingdon's first appearance in a NCAA Regional.
"We were all nervous coming in," Huntingdon shortstop and Great South Athletic Conference Player of the Year Aleah Payne said. "I think the more we play, the looser we will get and we'll start competing.
"We're enjoying being here. We just want to show everybody what we're made of. We can play ball with these people and we know that. We want to show everybody what Huntingdon is about."
The Lady Hawks fell behind 1-0 in the first inning on Friday and trailed 3-0 entering the fifth before the Lutes (38-11) scored five runs to end the game.
Two-time GSAC Pitcher of the Year Bree Giordana (17-8) took the loss in 4 2/3 innings.
Centerfielder Jenna Rimensnyder had the Lady Hawks' only hit.
Kaaren Hatlen was 2-for-2 with a two-run homer, three RBIs and a run for Pacific Lutheran, Glenelle Nitta was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Stacey Hagensen scored twice. Hagensen picked up the win.