Softball takes one of three against Charlotte


Dalton Hartmann/The Paisano

Taylor Medina waits for a pitch during a game earlier this season. Medina was an everyday started at UTSA each of the last two seasons and has appeared in four games for UTSA this year.

Ryder Martin, Sports Editor

The UTSA Roadrunners (8-17, 3-3 C-USA) continued their season this past weekend with a three-game series against their conference foe, the Charlotte Miners (21-8, 3-3 C-USA). In a back-and-forth series, the ‘Runners lost game one of the series on March 18, in a 4-11 loss before bouncing back to take game two of the series on March 19, 4-2. Then, in the series deciding game three, the ‘Runners fell short in an offensive slugfest, losing by a final score of 9-14. 

The series began on Friday night and UTSA starter Marena Estell (1-3, 5.63 ERA) was beset by problems early, giving up two home runs in the first inning, which contributed to an early 0-4 hole for the ‘Runners. UTSA got on the board in the third inning when Camryn Robillard hit a solo home run to left field, and the ‘Runners cut the lead down to one after a big fourth inning where they scored two runs on three hits. The close game did not last for long, however. Tatum Seith (4-4, 3.45 ERA) was brought in to relieve Estell in the third inning and she ran into trouble in the fifth. An error by Erykah Guerrero allowed one run to score, and then Seith surrendered a three-run homer to allow Charlotte to double their advantage, taking a 3-8 lead. Riley Grunberg got one run back on a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the fifth, but that was it from the UTSA offense. Charlotte tacked on a few more insurance runs in the later innings and walked away with a 4-11 victory. 

The following day, the ‘Runners got off to a much better start. UTSA starter Alexa Williams (1-4, 5.61 ERA) flirted with danger often and struggled with control issues, but lasted five innings in the circle while allowing just three hits, two runs and seven walks, striking out four. Charlotte took the early lead in the top of the second on an RBI single, but Emily Dear answered right back in the bottom half of the inning with a solo home run to even things up at one. The following inning, the ‘Runners took the lead for the first time with a two-run homer by Estell. Charlotte clawed back a run in the fourth inning on a wild pitch, but Robillard reinstated the two run advantage on another home run. In the sixth inning, Williams allowed the first two batters she faced to reach base and she was relieved by Jamie Gilbert (2-7, 3.41 ERA). Gilbert helped get UTSA out of the jam in the sixth and then got through the seventh inning with minimal danger to give UTSA the win in game two of the series by a final score of 4-2. 

In a complete reversal of the previous day’s low-scoring affair, the deciding game of the series was an offensive shootout. Gilbert, the starting pitcher for the day after working out of the bullpen the day prior, could not replicate her success from the day before. She gave up six runs in just an inning and two thirds of work, including a three-run homer that chased her from the game and brought in Seith in relief. UTSA did not go away, however. In the bottom of the second, a three-run shot from Lauren Coerver cut the Miners’ lead in half and got UTSA back into the game. After a quiet third inning, Charlotte’s offense came back strong in the fourth, crushing two more home runs, the second of which chased Seith from the circle, to put three more runs on the board and go up 3-9. Once again, UTSA cut the lead in half. In the bottom of the fifth Guerrero came around to score on an error by the shortstop and then Kaitlyn Morado slammed a pitch over the wall in center field for a two-run homer and Charlotte’s lead shrank to 6-9. In the sixth, Dear cut the lead down even further on a fielder’s choice and entering the final inning UTSA was only down 7-9. It did not stay that way as Williams, who came on in relief of Estell in the sixth, was lit up for five runs in the top of the seventh. She was not helped out at all by two errors in the inning. Now down 7-14, UTSA was in dire need of a monster comeback in the seventh and despite getting off to a great start in the inning when the first three UTSA batters reached safely and Kat Ibarra hit an RBI double, it was not enough. Charlotte steadied themselves after a pitching change and prevented any further damage, taking the game 9-14 and the series two games to one.

The Roadrunners will next hit the road and travel to Corpus Christi on March 22 for a game against the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders (10-16). Afterward, the team will return home for a game against the Texas State Bobcats (14-12). On the weekend, the team will travel to Ruston, La., for a three-game series against their Conference USA divisional opponent the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (18-12, 3-3 C-USA).