HUTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats opened up the 2017 home slate on Wednesday, but the UTSA Roadrunner offense brought plenty of fuel in sweeping a doubleheader at the Bearkat Softball Complex.
The Roadrunners (4-5) used an early 3-run homer and a 1-hit outing from starting pitcher Lizzy Fox to take the first game before exploding for 21 hits and 14 runs – including 11 in the final three frames – for a 14-6 win in the nightcap.
Game 1 - Box Score
UTSA 4, Sam Houston 1
Celeste Loughman’s second single of the day got UTSA going with one out in the top of the third. She promptly swiped second and Bailee Baldwin walked on five pitches to increase the Roadrunner threat. One batter later Randee Crawford took the first pitch she saw from Lindsey McLeod over the left-field fence, putting UTSA up 3-0.
Miscues helped the Roadrunners add another run in the seventh, starting when Rylee Rodriguez reached on an error to open the inning. Two batters later pinch runner Madison Kinley advanced to third on another Bearkat error, setting up Taylor Oberg who delivered a two-out RBI single up the middle top up the lead to 4-0.
The Kats finally got something going offensively in the seventh, getting the leadoff hitter on base when pinch hitter Hannah Marino was plunked by a Lizzy Fox pitch to start the frame. Ashley Goetz then spoiled Fox’s no-hit bid with a sure single to left and when the ball slid under left fielder Lindsey Stewart’s glove, pinch runner Casey Sax was able to scamper all the way home from first to score. But the Kats could not muster anything else as Fox finished off her complete game by retiring the next three hitters.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Senior Tayler Atkinson entered in relief one out into the top of the fifth inning and proceeded to throw the final 3.0 frames, allowing just one unearned run on four hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Game 2 - Box Score
UTSA 14, Sam Houston 6
A walk and infield single opened up the game for UTSA and after a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, Baldwin plated the game’s first run with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Stewart. The Kats were in position to get out of the inning without any further damage, but a two-out passed ball allowed Loughman to cross the plate to give UTSA a 2-0 advantage after one inning of play.
Loughman continued to be a pest for the Kats in the third, reaching on an infield single to start the inning. She then swiped second, her third steal in two games, and scored two batters later when Crawford sliced an RBI double to right field to make it 3-0. Dawson then managed to limit any further damage by getting Rodriguez and Kaley Pyles to ground out in consecutive at-bats.
Sam Houston matched the Roadrunner score with one of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Tori Koerselman’s second hit of the game went for extra bases as she ripped a one-out double into left field and two batters later Codi Carpenter brought her home with a line-drive single cleanly into right field. Dawson followed with a walk, but UTSA starter Nicole Merrill was able to keep the score at a 3-1 UTSA advantage by getting Goetz to ground out to second.
Consecutive singles got UTSA going in the fifth and Rodriguez made the Kats pay with a slicing double to right field to make it 4-1. Hailey Garza then provided another two runs of cushion with a double to left field, scoring Rodriguez and Kinley. Oberg then capped the inning one batter later with an RBI single off of relief pitcher Casey Kauder, giving the Roadrunners a 7-1 advantage.
Koerselman tried to start a Bearkat rally with a leadoff walk, but she was thrown out at third base one batter later trying to advance on a single from Megan Crosby. The Runners then got a break when Carpenter sent a sharp line drive right to third, allowing UTSA to double off Crosby at first to get out of the inning.
UTSA added three more runs on four hits in its half of the sixth, with a 2-run homer from Baldwin just two batters into the inning being the big blow. Rodriguez followed with a single off of Atkinson, who had entered in relief, and came across to make it a 10-1 Roadrunner edge on a 2-out single from Garza four batters later.
The Kats were not done, though, as Dawson led off the inning with a double and pinch runner Ashley Kopps moved to third on a single from Goetz. A wild pitch scored Kopps and Hannah Marino made it a 10-3 game with a pinch-hit, 1-out RBI single.
UTSA got going again in the seventh, however. Consecutive 1-out singles from Baldwin and Crawford set things up for Rodriguez and Sanchez who plated three runs on two straight doubles. A sacrifice fly from Garza followed, capping a four-run frame.
Singles by Koerselman and Carpenter gave Sam Houston something to work with in its final at-bat. Dawson then got a hold of one, and crushed a 3-run homer with one out in the inning to provide the game’s final margin.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Koerselman reached in all four of her plate appearances in the game, hitting safely with a double and a walk. Meanwhile, Dawson finished 2-for-3 with a pair of extra-base hits, including her 3-run homer in the seventh.
The Bearkats travel to Ruston, La., on Friday to take part in the Louisiana Tech Classic. The weekend will open up Friday at 12:30 p.m. against Northern Iowa before the Bearkats battle the host Lady Techsters at 3 p.m.