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TYLER, March 28, 2013--The No. 4 ranked UT Tyler softball team disposed of defending national champion Pacific Lutheran in a doubleheader sweep, winning 4-3 and 7-1. With the wins, the Patriots moved to an impressive 22-2 on the year.
The Patriots needed extra innings to win game one, winning on a walk-off double by Heather Abshire, scoring Raven Rodriguez.
Pacific Lutheran (15-9) took a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, with two runs scoring on a Lindsey Matsunaga double.
Sherwin then singled, scoring Matsunaga, and making the score 3-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth. In the fifth, the Patriots rallied, scoring three-runs to tie the score at 3-3. Rodriguez singled, knocking in Carli Wheeler, while the second run scored on a fielder's choice by Abshire. Brittney Batten then tied the game with a solo homerun, her fourth of the season.
After both teams were unable to score in regulation, the game headed to extra-innings, opening the door for Abshire's heroics. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Rodriguez reached base with a single, setting the plate for Abshire. The senior from Lafayette belted a deep double to right-center field, scoring Rodriguez from first base, winning the game 4-3.
In game two, the Patriots jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a solo homerun by Joey Cronin, the 28th of her career. Freshman pitcher Kelsie Batten, who picked up the win in game one, started game two on fire. Batten took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of game two, finally giving up a hit to lead off the inning. The Lutes had no answer for Batten, and could not stop the UT Tyler offense, giving up six runs over the last three innings. In the fourth, Lauren Robenalt knocked in a run with a single, while Jackie Mendez added one more on a double to left center.
UT Tyler added three more in the fifth, two on Ashley Endsley's deep homerun, and one on a fielder's choice. The Patriots would add one more insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on a wild pitch, making the score 7-0 with one inning to play.
On the night, Batten pitched 10.2 innings, giving up just six hits, one run, walking no batters and striking out eight batters.
Abshire had a stellar night at the plate, going a combined 5-for-9 with two RBIs and one run scored, while Robenalt finished going 3-for-6 with one RBI and run scored.
The Patriots will now head east to take on American Southwest Conference rival Mississippi College in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m., on Saturday.
Article by Jeff Williford
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