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TYLER, May 21, 2013-- The UT Tyler softball team finished fourth in the nation at the 2013 NCAA Softball Championships after dropping an elimination game to Salisbury, 1-0, on Monday morning at Gelein Field.
UT Tyler finishes the season with a program and conference-best 47-6 record.
The game ended in the top of the seventh on an odd series of controversial calls that saw the Patriots put runners at the corners with two outs for a chance to tie the game, but Raven Rodriguez declared out for leaving first base after having reached on a fielder's choice.
Coach Mike Reed fervently pleaded his case to the umpires for several minutes as fans and officials struggled to understand what was happening, but the play stood as called and the game was declared over.
Reed offered a "no comment" during the post-game press conference when asked about the call.
The lone run of the game came for Salisbury in the bottom of the third when Hannah Mills doubled down the right field line on a full count, two-out pitch to score Harley Hill.
UT Tyler's best chance to score came in the top of the second inning with one out, but two-straight pop-ups left all three runners stranded.
Salisbury (42-3), ranked No. 1 in the country coming into the tournament, turned right around to play Cortland State with the winner earning the right to face Tufts in the National Championship game later that evening.
“It’s definitely been special,” UT Tyler senior outfield Joey Cronin, the American Southwest Conference’s all-time hits leader, said of the season. “We are very blessed to have gone out with the group that we did. It’s been an honor to play here and with these eight seniors and the coaches we have. It’s meant a lot to all of us and made a mark on all of our lives.”
Monday's game was the final time eight seniors will wear the UT Tyler uniform: Cronin, Carli Wheeler, Ashley Endsley, Kristin Anderson, Taylor Sells, Brittney Batten, Heather Abshire and Rachel Howell.
Article by Peyton Low
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