Seven innings were not enough on Sunday. In fact, it took 11 innings before the winning run crossed the plate between UTSA and the Nicholls Colonels. The winning run was scored by Rudi Cantu of UTSA and the final margin was 3-2.
As had been the case in Saturday’s double-header, it was pitching that dominated the game. With the wind blowing in, the pitchers had the advantage from beginning to end. UTSA starter Morgan Luksa went four innings giving up two hits and one run. She was relieved by Emily Humpal who went two innings and gave up just two hits and no runs. Danye Holmes picked up the win in going five innings giving up one run on three hits. Nicholls starter Lacey Gros went the complete game giving up three runs on nine hits and was saddled with the loss.
Nicholls struck the first blow as Carla Troxler scored as a pinch runner in the top of the fifth. UTSA answered in the bottom of the sixth as Kristin Wehmeyer came in as a pinch runner and scored on a Kelly Cato sacrifice fly. The game remained tied through the normal seven innings, which meant the second straight game UTSA and Nicholls would play extra innings.
The eighth inning went as the previous two had gone with no scoring. In the top of the ninth, Haley Burkett scored what looked like the winning run for Nicholls on a UTSA error. UTSA responded in their half of the inning as Cantu led off with a single and then scored on Elaine Risberg’s ground rule double tying the game at two and assuring the game would go at least 10.
Starting with the tenth inning each team started the inning with a runner on second as a way to speed up the game. Neither team could do anything with their runner in scoring position in the 10th even though UTSA had the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th. In the 11th Nicholls squandered the runner at third. UTSA took advantage as Cantu crossed home on a one out single by Amber Anderson. Head coach Lori Cook remarked post game at the opportunities UTSA had to win in regulation.
“Leaving runners on is a frustrating thing, we are all aware of it and trying to adjust but it is a credit to their staff and their defense,” Cook said. “We have to get some more runs so we don’t have to play on ice every game with our backs against the wall, we just have to get it going, we are a great hitting team and it will come.”
Cook also pointed out the fact that the wind was a factor in the outcome of the game.
“Normally the wind blows out but this year is the most it has blown in,” Cook said. “We have played enough in it to know to adjust and just hit line drives and stay on top of the ball.”
The Roadrunners will hit the road for a Friday doubleheader at Texas State followed by one game Saturday. The series will undoubtedly be heated as any rivalry series is.
“Every year it’s a big series for us; the last couple of years we have come up short against them. They have a great staff they hit the ball well and put the ball in play and they don’t make very many mistakes,” Cook said. “They are beatable, and I think if we start swinging the bats with our pitching and defense we can take a couple from them. We just have to take it one game at a time.”