The West Texas A&M softball team couldn’t have asked for a better start to open their 2024 home schedule during a strong showing at the Lady Buff Invitational on Friday and Saturday at Schaeffer Park.
The No. 4-ranked Lady Buffs (8-1 overall) went a perfect 4-0 with all four wins coming in convincing fashion over Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference competition.
On Friday, the Lady Buffs opened the tournament with a 16-1 run-rule victory against Colorado State-Pueblo, followed by a 7-0 blanking of UC-Colorado Springs. On Saturday, WTAMU braved the cold elements with another 10-7 win against Pueblo then capped off the tournament by getting an 8-0 shutout against Fort Lewis.
The Lady Buffs opened the home schedule with a blasting of Colorado State-Pueblo. The bats were out in full force with WTAMU racking up seven extra-base hits including three home runs.
Third baseman Diana Murtha went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run as catcher Braeland Booth was also 2-for-2 with a solo homer. In the circle, Heidi Vortherms earned her third win on the year breezing through three quick innings of work allowing one earned run with five strikeouts.
In Friday’s night cap, WTAMU pitcher Emilee Boyer handcuffed UC-Colorado Springs in a 7-0 shutout. Boyer was masterful over six innings giving up only two hits with six K’s.
The offensive was provided in the form of Braeland who had another big game going 2-for-3 with a double driving in two runs.
With an artic front moving in, the Lady Buffs hustled two get a doubleheader in to close out the Invitational on Saturday. After building a 7-1 lead on Pueblo, WTAMU had to hold off a late rally but were able to get a 10-7 victory in the early contest.
WTAMU center fielder Brittni Rufus was stellar at the dish going a perfect 4-for-4 including two triples finishing with a pair of RBIs. Designated player Riley Stiner came in clutch with a two-run double that helped set the tone in the top of the second.
Boyer was solid in the circle going 4.1 innings allowing four runs with eight strikeouts.
In the night cap to close out the tournament, WTAMU made quick work of Fort Lewis 8-0 in six innings.
Vortherms got the start in the circle and was downright unhittable working a complete game giving up just one hit while racking up nine strikeouts. Over the two-days, Vortherms worked a combined 9.1 innings getting two wins, a save, and tallied 14 K’s.
At the plate, Murtha was the story delivering her second homer of the weekend and tacked on a pair of doubles to end the game 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.
The Lady Buffs open Lone Star Conference play hosting No. 8 UT Tyler with the first of a three-game set starting at 3 p.m. on Friday.