Fresh off of their doubleheader sweep against Sam Houston State, the UTSA softball team looked poised to play well in the annual UTSA classic this past weekend.
Despite solid effort in four of the five games, the Roadrunners (6-8, C-USA) finished the weekend at 2-3. The Runners split matchups with New Mexico (6-8, Mountain West) and Incarnate Word, (4-9, Southland) and lost their one game against Texas State (9-3, Sun Belt).
On Friday, UTSA won their opening game against the Lobos 1-0 in a defensive struggle. Junior pitcher Lizzy Fox allowed only three hits in seven innings and earned her third win of the season. The lone score from UTSA came from sophomore center fielder Bailee Baldwin in the bottom of the first inning.
In their first matchup against the Cardinals, Incarnate Word defeated the Roadrunners 5-4 in a nine inning overtime period. The Cardinals scored three runs in the fifth inning to lead 4-1. Freshman third baseman Rylee Rodriguez finished the inning with her fourth home run of the season to trail by two.
In the seventh inning, base hits from sophomore second baseman Hailey Garza and senior left fielder Taylor Oberg gave runs for senior Madison Kinley and Garza to extend the game to extra innings.
In the ninth inning, Incarnate Word’s Danielle Ramirez won the game off a Mikaela Flores base hit. UTSA was unable to score as Rodriguez was struck out by junior pitcher Sarah Leal
The Lobos scored three unanswered runs in the sixth inning to win 5-4. The Roadrunners had a chance to win with Celeste Loughman at second base and former C-USA home run leader Senior Randee Crawford at bat, but were unable to score as Crawford was outed on a foul ball.
In the night game, Texas State scored on four home runs on seven hits and defeated UTSA 8-1.
Although UTSA had the same amount of hits as the Bobcats, they were unable to score. Entering the game with a .99 ERA, junior pitcher Randi Rupp struck out the Roadrunners 14 times.
As for Sunday’s final game in a rematch against the Cardinals, Rodriguez, Baldwin and Crawford scored home runs and defeated Incarnate Word 10-2.
After the three home runs, Kinley and junior shortstop Erica Sanchez scored to finish the game in five innings.
“Today (Sunday) was a total flipside of how our weekend was going. We bought our play back up to the level we are expecting from us,” Head Coach Michelle Cheatnam said about Sunday’s matchup.
One of the biggest takeaways from the UTSA’s early season has been the play of their freshmen. Rodriguez, along with Lindsey Stewart and Loughman, currently lead with senior Oberg as the four top batters for the Roadrunners.
“We complete and push very hard to get where we’re at, ” Rodriguez said about herself and her freshmen teammates. She continued on to say, “We have so much talent on this team. Once we learn to play together, I know we can do well in conference.”
Predicted to finish the conference in eighth place, the softball team learned at the UTSA classic that their team has an influx of talent to be a dark horse team in Conference-USA. Their first conference series begins March 11 at Marshall University.
On March 1, the Roadrunners will play one game at Roadrunner Field vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi. They will also play in the Texas A&M invitational on the weekend of March 3.