Softball loses first game of series against UAB

Haley Aguayo, Staff Writer

A strong start and an aggressive seventh inning for UTSA softball were not enough to beat UAB during their first game of the series on April 21. The Roadrunners (8-35, 3-14 Conference USA) lost 4-3 to the Blazers (25-21, 12-6) at Roadrunner Field in game one of the series. 

UTSA initially took the lead at the beginning of the game when infielder Kat Ibarra hit a home run in the first inning, and outfielder Lilly Hood hit another one in the second inning.

Ibarra was up to bat first and the first to put up a point on the board for the Roadrunners. On her first at-bat, she hit the ball right over the fence for the first homer of the game. 

Ibarra said she struggled during UTSA’s previous away game at IWU. 

“I just kind of had to reset my mind,” Ibarra said. “I like listening to music before the game. It kind of calms me down. Before I went up to bat, I kind of had a little pep talk with myself and told myself I could do it. It was kinda nice the first at-bat. I got a solid hit.”

During the bottom of the second inning, Hood went up to bat. On her second at-bat, she hit the ball right over the fence for her fifth home run of the year.

One player from UAB got a home run through a pitch made by Marena Estell in the fourth inning. Unluckily for the ‘Runners, two other women were already on the field, which allowed the Blazers to get three points in one inning. An additional point followed this in the fifth inning.

Though Hood may have been surprised by her accomplishment, she was not surprised by how much effort her team had put in during their final offensive inning. “I think we showed up in the seventh inning,” Hood said. “We never stopped fighting. We’re behind every one of these girls, no matter who’s in the box, and we think they can do it in one swing.”

In the game’s final inning, Erykah Guerrero went up to bat and hit a ball into right field, then raced through first and ran straight to second base in an attempt to get closer to home plate.

Ciarra Mata went up to bat, launched the ball into the far right field, and ran through first base as Guerrero ran through third and back to home plate to give the ‘Runners another point. Mata made it to second base as UAB struggled to get the ball back to center field. Their efforts ended soon after in a one-point loss.

“They have got to try to get their one hit of the game to get things going,” head coach Michelle Cheatham said. “It’s great when it happens in the seventh [inning]; it gives us a chance to stay in the ball game. I thought that those two, Erykah and Cici, did a great job at doing that.”