Vicente Cardenas/ The Paisano
The UTSA Roadrunners (20-26, 7-11 C-USA) were swept this weekend by the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes (40-5, 14-2 C-USA) April 18 and 19, at Roadrunner Field.
The Roadrunners have been a rollercoaster at times, displaying explosive offensive execution, combined with shutout pitching, UTSA failed to come together when they needed it most against the No. 16 Golden Hurricanes.
UTSA opened Friday’s double-header with a 4-0 shutout against the Hurricanes. The Roadrunners amassed only two hits against Tulsa’s senior ace Aimee Creger. Creger rang up 13 Roadrunners on the day, through 7.2 innings.
“Creger is top 5 in the nation for a reason; the best thing you can do is have the best at bat you can against her,” added UTSA Head Coach Cheatham.
UTSA poor run productivity was their Achilles heel in game one; however game two brought new woes for the Roadrunners.
After producing only two hits in all of game one, UTSA exploded with nine runs through the first three innings, and continued to hold the Golden Hurricane 9-3.
“Our kids just came out and attacked like they know how to do,” said Coach Cheatham on the team’s explosive start to game two.
UTSA junior first baseman Megan Low blasted her NCAA leading 21st homerun of the season, and pushed her streak of times on base to 27.
Despite a promising lead, the Roadrunner’s bullpen could not put away the Golden Hurricanes. After scoring one run in the sixth, Tulsa erupted with eight runs in the eighth inning to lead UTSA 12-9.
The Roadrunners rallied two more runs, but were unable escape the 12-11 defeat.
UTSA headed into Saturday’s series finale looking to avoid the sweep, and played well early on.
Roadrunner junior shortstop Courtney Buchman flashed her golden glove, snagging a sharp hit up the middle, and still gathering herself to make a decisive throw out in the closing innings of the game.
UTSA sophomore starting pitcher Kacey Freeze had another great outing, pitching a total of six innings, while giving up only one earned run.
“She was attacking the zone, her pitchers were working,” added Coach Cheatham on Freeze performance on the weekend. “And that’s a top offense she was keeping at a bay.”
Creger’s dominate pitching silenced the Roadrunner’s once again, and gave Tulsa another at bat. Tulsa pulled away with a run in the eleventh inning, and secured the sweep after a shutting out the Roadrunners the following inning.
UTSA’s valiant effort fell short, but still showed the tenacity needed to compete against top teams.
“Today I was proud of my team for coming out the way that they did, it would be really easy to come out and give this game away,” said Coach Cheatham after Saturday’s series finale. “But the kids came out and fought hard.”
The Roadrunners will host the Baylor Bears Wednesday, April 23, and should provide UTSA with some healthy competition before heading to play conference opponent UTEP.
“We got Baylor coming up, there a top in the nation, and I’m glad that we have someone who can challenge us before heading into the weekend,” said Coach Cheatham about UTSA’s upcoming schedule.
UTSA will look to bounce back Wednesday before heading to face UTEP (15-30, 7-11 C-USA) April 26, at Helen of Troy Field.