Softball dominates UIW in cross-town showdown

Haley Aguayo, Staff Writer

Four home runs helped the UTSA softball team gain a dominant advantage over the University of the Incarnate Word during their Wednesday night game. The Roadrunners beat the Cardinals at H-E-B Field with a final score of 7-0. Camryn Robillard and Marena Estell hit a home run, and Taylor Jensen hit two.

“It’s kind of been a little uptight recently, losing by like one or two [points],” Robillard said of the win. “But we all just came out here carefree, loose and then we’ve been stepping up on the board. I think it’s our turnaround. We’ve kind of had a rough time. But I mean, at this point, we’ve all come together.” 

Left-handed Estell hit a double into right field on her second at-bat to put the Roadrunners on the Cardinals field. Robillard stepped up to bat fourth, hitting a home run on the second pitch. With Robillard’s homer, Estell ran past third base and all the way home to give the ‘Runners a two run advantage as they headed into the bottom of the first.

“I actually got one off the end of my bat, but I spent a couple hours in the cages last night, and I was like, ‘I’m gonna get this down,’” Robillard said. “I’ve been in kind of a slump. So I kind of just came out here carefree, and I just want to loosen up and have fun.”

Rylie Giddens was up to bat at the top of the fourth inning and got to walk to first base. When Kat Ibarra went up to bat next, she bunted the ball and it rolled past first base giving her time to run to first and Giddens time to run to claim second base. 

Estell went up to bat, and on the third pitch, she managed to hit the ball out of the field. Giddens, Ibarra and Estell raced home after watching Estell’s ball drop over the fence. This brought the score to 5-0, and UIW subbed out their pitchers.

“It was a definite confidence booster,” Estell said. “Hitting it off the bat, I was like, ‘Oh, I feel like I missed that,’ but I swung hard enough and it went far enough. Sometimes it just depends on if I feel like I got all the barrel or like some of the barrel. I feel like I got all the barrel today on most of my at-bats. So I think that home run definitely helped us out today to get a win.”

The Roadrunners headed into the fifth inning, and Jensen was up to bat. After a few balls were thrown, she hit a ball over the middle of the field. It looked like the ball was curving downward into the field but went right over the fence, and Jensen happily ran through all the bases as her team welcomed her on home base.

During the top of the seventh inning, Jensen went up to bat again and hit her second homer of the evening. Her team started cheering for her before the ball even made it halfway across the field. The team ran to home base and was there to greet her when she ran through it and gave the ‘Runners their final point of the evening ending with 7-0.

“I struggled my first two at-bats, but I got back in there,” Jensen said. “I knew as soon as they came off the bat. I kind of just started jogging; you kind of just know as soon as you hit them that they’re gone.” 

Coach Cheatham was not surprised by how well her team did, nor was she surprised that Jensen got in two homers. “Typically, anytime she puts a good piece of the bat on the ball, it’s gonna go,” Cheatham said. “She hits the ball really hard. And a lot of these kids, they’ve done it so many times over and over again at practice that they have a feeling. The girls know off the bat when it’s going out.”

With this win, the women have broken their four-game losing streak and will head into their next game with higher confidence, though coach Cheatham will still make sure the girls practice so that they can continue to find success.

“We just have to be fundamentally sound defensively,” Cheatham said. “We’ve got to make the routine plays, and then offensively, we just have to adjust to whatever pitchers are throwing and how she’s trying to get us out there and get after them and get them out and get to the next game.”