The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor softball team handed the University of Texas at Tyler its first loss of the 2018 season, beating the Patriots 5-3 Friday afternoon in Belton. The win improved the Cru to 6-4 on the season and 3-3 in American Southwest Conference action while the Patriots fell to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in league play.
Nicole Garcia opened the Patriots with a 1-0 lead, slamming a home run in the first at-bat of the game. UT Tyler held that until the bottom of the second when UMHB took their first lead of the series. Kasi Cummings opened the inning with an infield single before Kourtney Cummings reached on an error. Hannah Wolfe and Linsey Tomlinson followed that with back-to-back RBI singles to take a 2-1 lead on the Patriots, scoring Kasi Cummings and Jessica Picou. Devon Walter extended the Cru's lead in the bottom of the fourth, hitting a home run over the centerfield wall to put UMHB up by two. The Patriots added one more in the top of the sixth before Makenzi Dawson responded for the Cru, hitting a two-RBI single up the middle to score Walter and Whitney Flournoy for a 5-2 UMHB lead after six. UT Tyler added one more run in the top of the seventh before Hannah Halepaska entered the circle, forcing two grounds outs and a pop up to secure the 5-3 lead.
Dawson led the Cru with three hits followed by Walter with two. Dawson was also the team-leader with two RBI while Walter scored a team-high two runs. Karen Tennis earned the win in the circle for UMHB, pitching six innings with six hits, two runs and one earned run allowed. She faced 26 batters and walked just two. Halepaska pitched the final inning for the Cru, earning her first save of the season. Colleen Bentke took the loss for UT Tyler, pitching 2.2 innings with four hits and two runs allowed. Whitney Romero and Miranda Leal pitched in relief of Bentke, combining for five hits, three runs and three earned runs surrendered.
UMHB returns to action on Tuesday, March 6th in a 4 p.m. doubleheader against Trinity University at Dee Dillon Field in Belton.