Softball drops game to UIW, sweeps UAB


Zahara Latson

Alexa Williams readies to release a pitch during the series against North Texas last week. Williams has been one of UTSA’s primary starters this year and is 3-5 with a 4.06 ERA.

Ryder Martin, Sports Editor

The UTSA Roadrunners (14-23, 7-7 C-USA) took to the field this past week for four games. First, on Wednesday, April 13, the team played the UIW Cardinals (13-26) at home. Then the team hit the road to play the UAB Blazers (21-8, 9-5 C-USA) in a three-game series from April 15-17. 

In their first game of the week, the ‘Runners took on the Cardinals and fell behind early. Marena Estell (4-8, 3.53 ERA) was on the mound for UTSA and was responsible for allowing the first run of the game to score in the second inning after she committed a throwing error. Estell immediately redeemed herself in the bottom half of the inning, however, when she launched a solo home run to right field to tie the game at 1-1. Estell was relieved by Alexa Williams (3-5, 4.06 ERA) in the third inning and UIW retook the lead when Williams issued a bases-loaded walk. Sara Gilbert (4-4, 4.49 ERA) relieved Williams in the fourth, but UIW got to her just like they did the previous two pitchers, and the Cardinals doubled their advantage to a 1-3 lead on a fielder’s choice. Last week’s athlete of the week, Riley Grunberg, brought the ‘Runners back within one with a solo shot to left in the bottom of the fourth, but that was it from the UTSA offense. UIW tacked on two more runs in the fifth, and then UTSA had a chance in the bottom of the seventh with the tying run at the plate and only one out, but their final two batters were retired and UIW won the game 2-5. 

On Friday at UAB, with inclement weather as a factor, the series originally scheduled to run from Friday to Sunday with one game each day instead saw a doubleheader scheduled for Friday and the series finale slated for Sunday. In game one of the doubleheader, Estell went out and pitched a gem. Allowing just two hits and one walk, Estell completely neutralized the Blazers lineup en route to a complete-game shutout. With their pitcher dominating, the UTSA offense just needed to support her with a run and thankfully they did. In the top of the fourth, Emily Dear hit a solo home run to center field, her third of the year, to give the ‘Runners the only run they would end up needing. Entering the seventh still up only 1-0, the ‘Runners gave Estell some added insurance when Lauren Coerver hit an RBI double to score Grunberg, then Dear drove in both Coerver and Estell with a double of her own to put UTSA up 4-0. Estell tight-roped her way through a tough seventh inning to escape with the complete-game shutout as UTSA took game one of the series 4-0. 

In game two of the doubleheader, UTSA got out to a fast start when Estell crushed a two-run homer to right field to put the ‘Runners up 2-0 in the top of the first. Gilbert was on the mound for UTSA to start the game and she was excellent, lasting six innings while giving up only four hits, two walks and two runs. UAB cut UTSA’s lead in half in the bottom of the fourth on a solo home run, but Gilbert settled back down and made it through the rest of the inning with little issue. Gilbert ran into another spot of trouble in the sixth inning when she gave up an RBI double to tie the game at 2-2 and left UAB with runners on second and third with only one out. Gilbert managed to escape the inning without allowing another run to come across, though, sending the game to the seventh still tied at 2-2. 

In the top of the seventh, Coerver led things off with a triple, putting the ‘Runners in an excellent position to take the lead. With one out in the inning, that is exactly what they ended up doing. Erykah Guerrero hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring Coerver in to score as UTSA took the lead back 3-2. Clinging to that 3-2 lead heading into the bottom half of the inning, UTSA called on Estell to take to the mound once again to seal the deal. As was the case a few hours earlier, Estell was close to unhittable, going out and retiring the side in order to give UTSA a 3-2 win in game two and a series victory. This series victory then turned into a sweep after game three of the series slated for Sunday was canceled due to inclement weather. 

The team will stay out on the road for their first game of the week against the Texas State Bobcats (24-17) on Tuesday, April 19. Then the team will return home for a three-game series against conference foe, the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (26-16, 6-9 C-USA) from April 22-24.