UTSA women Roadrunners completed the sweep Sunday against McNeese State behind senior Amanda Nikolenko’s pitching. The senior led the Runners to a 15-1 victory at Roadrunner Field over the Cowgirls.
Nikolenko surpassed Jennifer Drake (601) for career leader in innings pitched. Nikolenko allowed just one run on four hits. The Runners continued a weekend where success at the plate transferred to wins in UTSA’s second Southland Conference bout of the season.
Sophomore Mercedes Hessel led the 14-hit parade for the Runners, including a career-high five RBIs and a gopher ball to left-center.
Sophomore Rudi Cantu continued the assault on McNeese State, going 3-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored. Sunday’s game brought her weekend numbers to 8-for-10 along with a double and triple with eight runs scored.
Freshman Whitney Balch added two hits alongside fellow freshman Danye Holmes, who had an RBI on two hits. Holmes enjoyed a career day in the series opener on Saturday where she struck out a season-high 13 and went 3-for-3 at the plate, including two homers and four RBIs.
UTSA put up four runs in the first and six in the second innings, giving Nikolenko more than enough leeway to hold off the Cowgirls.
McNeese State scored their only run in the fourth. But the Runners answered with five runs, three unearned, in the bottom of the fourth.
Back-to-back fielding errors by McNeese State third baseman Jenny Clay put runners on first and second, allowing Cantu to drive in pinch runner Lindsay Perry.
Balch drove in the final run on a sacrifice fly to left field bringing home Cantu, making it 15-1.
The Runners outscored McNeese 34-4 in three games at Roadrunner Field.
Key performances include Balch’s 4-for-4 outing in the second game of Saturday’s double-header where she hit her fourth home run.
Danye Holmes played more like a returning veteran than a newbie freshman with her 13 strikeouts in a 7-3 victory. Senior pitcher Janeille Nickels pitched her first shutout of the season, allowing only three hits and marked three strikeouts.
The Roadrunners improved to 8-8 overall, 4-2 in the Southland Conference and will host number eight Baylor Mar. 4 at Roadrunner field at 6:30 p.m.