Roadrunners to host UTSA Classic presented by Alamo Area Mutual Housing Association this weekend
SAN ANTONIO — UTSA will host a regular-season tournament for the first time since the 2010 season this weekend when it welcomes Boise State, Iowa State, Missouri State and Rutgers Roadrunner Field for the UTSA Classic presented by Alamo Area Mutual Housing Association.
The Roadrunners (1-2) will open play at 4:30 p.m. on Friday against Missouri State (1-4) and that tilt will be followed by a 7 p.m. matchup with Iowa State (4-1). UTSA will continue play at 4:30 p.m. the following evening when it faces Rutgers (0-0) before a 7 p.m. tilt against Boise State (2-3). The tournament concludes at 11:30 a.m. the following day with another contest against Missouri State (click here for complete tournament schedule).
UTSA opened its campaign last weekend with a three-game set at Lamar, which was playing its first games since the end of the 1987 season. The Roadrunners hit a Western Athletic Conference-leading .385 over the weekend, but left Ford Park with just one win to show for it. Vivian Tijerina hit a pair of home runs for UTSA’s first multi-homer game since April 22, 2011, in Sunday's 7-3 victory, while Jolene Graham tossed five no-hit innings out of the bullpen.
Boise State enters the tournament with a 2-3 mark after spending last weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The Broncos dropped a one-run game to Portland State to open the season, but they bounced back with wins against Northwestern and Stephen F. Austin before losses to No. 5 Oregon and fourth-ranked Arizona State. Holly Bourke led the offense with a .429 batting average, a triple and four RBIs, while Devon Bridges drove in a team-leading five runs. In the circle, Boise State used three hurlers that logged at least 10 innings. Kenzie Cole led the way with a 1-0 record and 4.45 ERA.
Meanwhile, Iowa State opened its season with a 4-1 mark at its own Cyclones Invitational. The host school defeated Indiana State, North Dakota, North Dakota State and South Dakota State with its only loss coming to IPFW. Sarah Hawryluk started all five games for Iowa State and batted .500 with seven runs scored, a double, two triples and two RBIs. As a team, the Cyclones hit .364 with six starters batting better than .300, while the pitching staff put together a 2.71 ERA. Tori Torrescano saw the most work in the circle and she compiled a 2-0 mark, 2.47 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 17 frames.
Missouri State comes to the Alamo City after a 1-4 weekend at the Georgia Tech-Kennesaw State Invitational in Atlanta. The Bears dropped their first four games to Coastal Carolina, Kennesaw State and Georgia Tech before a 5-2 win against Butler on Sunday. First baseman Stevie Pierce was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week after hitting .400 with three homers, a double and eight RBIs. Her three home runs tied her career best for a season and, after a weekend of play, Pierce leads the circuit in homers, RBIs, total bases and two-out RBIs. The Bears struggled in the circle with a 7.42 ERA and recorded just 11 strikeouts in 33 innings of work.
Rutgers is the only squad that will be making its 2013 debut this weekend. The Scarlet Knights return 12 letterwinners and seven starters from last year’s team that went 26-28 and finished seventh in the Big East with a 9-13 mark. Rutgers’ leading returner is Chandler Howard, who hit .279 last season with seven doubles, two homers and 15 RBIs. In the circle, Alyssa Landrith returns after finishing the 2012 campaign with an 18-12 record, 2.28 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 202.2 panels.
UTSA has won all three of its previous meetings with Missouri State and both matchups against Rutgers. The Roadrunners also hold an all-time lead of 3-2 against Iowa State (3-2), but Boise State defeated the Roadrunners, 5-3, on March 23, 2012, in the only meeting between the two programs.