Roadrunners split pair on opening day of Texas A&M Invitational
COLLEGE STATION — UTSA recorded its third consecutive shutout by blanking Southeastern Louisiana, 4-0, before falling by a score of 8-0 in five innings to No. 10 Texas A&M on Friday opening day of the Texas A&M Invitational.
Alexis Ramirez led the Roadrunners (7-5) with three hits and an RBI on the day, while Siera Sproul added a pair of knocks in the opener against the Lady Lions.
Meanwhile, Haylee Staton earned her second consecutive win and improved to 4-1 with a stellar outing against Southeastern Louisiana.
UTSA continues tournament play against both squads on Saturday. The Birds will take on Southeastern Louisiana (9-3) at 10 a.m. before squaring off with the host Aggies (14-0) at 5:15 p.m.
UTSA 4, Southeastern Louisiana 0
Haylee Staton tossed a three-hit shutout to lead UTSA its third consecutive shutout, 4-0, against former Southland Conference foe Southeastern Louisiana in the team's opening game at this weekend's Texas A&M Invitational. The Roadrunners (7-4) now have not allowed a run in their last 21 innings of play.
Coming off a shutout of North Texas on Wednesday night, Staton (4-1) recorded four strikeouts and walked just one, as no Lady Lion advanced past second base. The Austin native lowered her ERA to 1.94.
Alexis Ramirez and Siera Sproul each went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Vivian Tijerina and Paige Hamilton each plated runs for UTSA.
Southeastern Louisiana (9-3), which extended its winning streak to four games with a 3-1 triumph against Purdue in the tournament opener, led off each of the first two innings with a hit and sacrifice bunt to put a runner in scoring position, However, Staton got a strikeout and flyout to end each of the threats.
The Roadrunners opened the scoring in the bottom of the second with three unearned runs.
Jolene Graham started the rally with a one-out infield single before Sproul beat out a hit back to the circle. Lady Lions shortstop Kayla Elswick then was unable to handle a grounder off the bat of Jori Fox and that loaded the bases. A four-pitch walk to Tijerina provided the game's first run and Hamilton's ground out to second plated another for a 2-0 advantage. Ramirez then singled to left for her first RBI of the season, but left fielder Kelsey Nichols kept the score 3-0 with a strike to home to retire Fox.
Staton quickly settled in and retired 12 consecutive batters before Jessie Brown singled to right center in the sixth.
After a grounder back to the circle, Southeastern Louisiana once again had a runner on second with one out, but Staton fanned Katie Lacour before ending the inning with another infield pop up.
UTSA tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the panel when Sproul doubled down the left-field line to plate pinch runner Victoria Birdwell all the way from first.
The Lady Lions had one final chance in the seventh, but Staton retired the side following a walk to open the frame.
Southeastern Louisiana finished the contest 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Starter Taylor Bishop (2-2) allowed all four runs (one earned), walked two and struck out one.
#10 Texas A&M 8, UTSA 0 (5 innings)
No. 10 Texas A&M scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back in a 8-0, run-rule victory against UTSA in the Roadrunners' second game of the day.
Ramirez singled to lead off the game for the Roadrunners and it proved to be the team's only hit against Texas A&M starter Mel Dumezich, who improved to a perfect 8-0 on the season.
The Aggies (13-0) grabbed the lead for good in the bottom of the frame.
Emily Albus walked and scored on Megan May's double and the advantage moved to two on a two-bagger by Cassie Tysarczyk. Two batters later, Cali Lanphear hit a three-run homer to right for a 5-0 lead.
Dumezich, who no-hit Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday, kept UTSA off balance and retired the final 14 batters she faced.
Meanwhile, the offense put up three more runs in the fourth for the run-rule victory.
Graham (2-2) took the loss after giving up all eight runs (six earned) on seven hits and eight walks in four innings of work.