FARMERS BRANCH (April 26, 2013) -- The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor softball team never recovered from U.T.-Tyler’s five-run third inning outburst as the Cru dropped a 9-3 decision to the Patriots in the American Southwest Conference Tournament Semifinals Friday night in Farmers Branch. UMHB finishes 29-16 with the loss. U.T.-Tyler improves to 41-3 on the year with the victory and advances to Saturday’s Championship Game against East Texas Baptist University.
Heather Abshire’s two-run home run gave U.T.-Tyler a first inning lead. Hannah Parker cut it to 2-1 with an RBI double in the bottom of the second. The Patriots then broke the game open with five two-out runs in the top of the third. Kelsie Batten’s three-run double was the biggest hit in that frame. The Cru closed the gap to 7-2 on Halle Sabo’s RBI groundout in the bottom of that inning, but U.T.-Tyler answered with a run in the top of the fourth. Heather Smith singled home a run for UMHB in the fifth, but the Patriots answered that run with one more in the sixth to close out the scoring.
Rebekah Ragsdale took the loss in the circle for UMHB to drop to 16-6 on the year. Tori Gomez had two of the Cru’s seven hits in the game. Batten tossed a complete-game, seven-hitter to raise her record to 20-1 for the Patriots. Joey Cronin and Brittney Batten had two hits apiece for U.T.-Tyler.
Earlier in the day, UMHB softball team exploded for six runs in the top of the seventh inning to blow open a close game as the Cru knocked off Louisiana College 10-2 in an American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament elimination game. UMHB improves to 29-15 with the win and also advances to the ASC Semifinals with the victory. The loss ends the Wildcats season at 26-15.
The Cru took a 2-0 lead on Halle Sabo’s two-run single in the top of the first inning. Chandler Henson’s solo homer made it 3-0 UMHB in the top of the fourth inning. LC cut the lead to 3-2 on Emorie Nugent’s RBI double and Stephanie Jaeger’s RBI single in the bottom of the fifth. A run-scoring error pushed UMHB’s lead to 4-2 in the top of the sixth. Then the Cru put the game out of reach with that six-run seventh. Another error scored the first run, Kelsey Vann singled home a run, Tori Gomez ripped a two-run double and Rebekah Ragsdale and Brittany Moreno added RBI doubles to close out the scoring.
Sabo earned the win for UMHB to improve to 7-6 on the year. Ragsdale pitched the final two innings to earn the save for the Cru. Moreno led UMHB with three hits and Kourtney Bevers, Vann, Gomez and Sabo all had two hits apiece for the Cru.
UMHB will now face top-ranked U.T.-Tyler in a 7:00 PM elimination game. The winner of that game advances to tomorrow’s Championship Game to face East Texas Baptist University at 1:00 PM. Friday night’s winner will have to beat ETBU twice to win the ASC title. The ASC Tournament champion will also claim the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships.
UMHB will now have to hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships. If the Cru does not receive a bid, the loss closes out the careers of UMHB seniors Caitlin Bollier, Ariel Kemmerer and Brittany Moreno.