UTSA softball clenches series victory against Southern Mississippi

Jada Thomas, Copyediting Coordinator

This past weekend, the UTSA softball team (16-25, 9-8 C-USA) hosted a three game series against the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (27-18, 7-11 C-USA) at Roadrunner Field. The ‘Runners ended up securing the series win in the winner-takes-all game on Sunday, April 24. 

Things got started a few minutes into the game on Friday, April 22. The first run of the game was scored by UTSA’s Erykah Guerrero, who homered to right center in the bottom of the second inning and put the ‘Runners up 1-0. At the bottom of the third, Camryn Robillard hit to left field, allowing Ciarra Mata and Kat Ibarra, who were each on second and first base, respectively, to advance to third and second. Riley Grunberg drove in Mata and Ibarra to score two runs and put UTSA up 3-0. Emily Dear was the next Roadrunner at bat and she hit an RBI, which allowed Robillard to score, increasing UTSA to 4-0. At the top of the fourth inning, the Golden Eagles’ Scout Jennings homered to center field, cutting the lead to 4-1. Things calmed down until the bottom of the fifth when Marena Estell homered to left center, putting the ‘Runners up 5-1. Southern Miss. scored two more runs in the top of the seventh, but they ultimately failed to come back, allowing UTSA to secure the win. 

After the game, Estell, who scored the winning run, disclosed what she felt was an integral part of the team’s success during this game. 

“I think we had a very great week of practice,” Estell said. “I feel like we were able to come out throughout the week and be able to execute what we needed to in order to be successful today.”

UTSA hoped to achieve that same success in the second game, but the end result was not in their favor. On Saturday, April 23, the game started quickly when Southern Miss. scored two runs in the top of the first inning. When the bottom of the first occurred, UTSA was on fire right out of the gate. Grunberg hit an RBI to center field, allowing Ibarra to score, cutting the Golden Eagles’ lead to 2-1. With bases loaded, Dear singled to left field, allowing an RBI to drive Robillard in to score (2-2). A Guerrero hit to left center allowed Estell and Grunberg to score, putting the ‘Runners up 4-2. UTSA continued to rack up points when Kaitlyn Morado homered, allowing Guerrero, Dear and herself to score, increasing the ‘Runner’s lead by three (7-2). In the top of the second, the Golden Eagles scored a run closing the lead to just four points. In the bottom of the third, Ibarra homered to center field, allowing Mata, Guerrero and herself to score, increasing UTSA’s lead to 10-3. A Dear home run in the bottom of the fourth put the ‘Runners up 11-3. At the top of the fifth, Southern Miss. scored two runs, bringing the score to 11-5. In the bottom of the sixth, Dear hit yet another homer and increased the scoring gap to seven points (12-5). At this point, things took a turn for the worse and it became evident that the ‘Runners had gotten too comfortable. In the top of the seventh, the Golden Eagles scored eight runs, quickly increasing the score to 12-13. In the bottom of the seventh, Robillard hit an RBI that allowed Mata to score, bringing the scoreboard to 13-13. Due to the tie, the game was forced to go to an eighth inning, and although the ‘Runners tried their best, Southern Miss. scoring seven more runs made them the clear winner, with the final score being 13-20.

The outcomes of the past two games made the game that took place on Sunday, April 24, a winner-takes-all scenario. UTSA started the scoring in the bottom of the first when Estell hit a grand slam to center field which scored Grunberg, Robillard, Ibarra and herself, putting the ‘Runners up 4-0. At the top of the second, the Golden Eagles scored bringing the score to 4-1. The Golden Eagles also scored in the top of the third, closing the score gap to just two runs (4-2). In the bottom of the fourth, Mata homered to left field and brought the score to 5-2. In the top of the sixth, the Golden Eagles scored a run, bringing the score to 5-3. An Ibarra homer to center field in the bottom of the sixth put UTSA up 6-3. Since Southern Miss. failed to score in the top of the seventh, 6-3 ended up being the final score, making the ‘Runners the series winner for the weekend. 

The Roadrunners get a small break before they’ll be back in action on Friday, April 29, in Boca Raton, Fla. where they will play the Florida Atlantic Owls (24-22, 11-7 C-USA) in another weekend series.