UTSA splits Friday doubleheader at Louisiana Tech
RUSTON, La. — Haylee Staton helped pitch UTSA to a 4-1 victory at Louisiana Tech in the first game, but the Lady Techsters came away with a 1-0 win in the nightcap for a doubleheader split on Friday night in Western Athletic Conference action.
Darian Blake led the Roadrunners (24-22, 7-10 WAC) offense and stretched her hitting streak to nine games with three hits and three walks to go along with a pair of stolen bases. Meanwhile, Staton tied a season-high with eight strikeouts en route to her triumph in game one.
Meanwhile, Louisiana Tech (23-23, 8-9 WAC) took second game behind a solid outing from Michelle Jones and a two-out RBI single in the fifth by Erin Kipp.
Staton and fellow starter Anna Cross combined to allow just two hits through the first six innings, as neither offense could get on track in a pitchers' duel.
UTSA threatened in the third when Paige Hamilton, Blake and Courtney Buchman each drew one-out walks to load the bases. Cross got out of the jam when Siera Sproul grounded to second and Krueger threw home for a force out, before Megan Low grounded out to end the inning.
Staton retired the first nine batters that she faced, including five on strikes, before issuing her only free pass of the game to Amanda Krueger. An infield single followed, but an unsuccessful sacrifice bunt attempt by Erin Kipp and fly ball to left preceded Alayna Kipp’s strikeout to close out the frame.
The Austin native went on to retire the next eight hitters she faced and she inherited a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
The Roadrunners grabbed the lead in its half of the seventh on two hits and a pair of Lady Techsters errors.
Victoria Birdwell opened the stanza with a single to left that was followed by a one-out infield base hit from Blake. The pair moved up 60 feet on a wild pitch and Buchman loaded the bases with UTSA’s seventh walk of the contest. With the infield playing in, Sproul hit a grounder to shortstop Michelle Jones, whose throw home was wild. The error allowed both Birdwell and Blake to score for a 2-0 lead. That advantage doubled one batter later, when Megan Low lifted a fly ball to center field. Dacia Hale made the catch, but her throw home was just up the line and it got away from catcher Alayna Kipp. Low picked up her team-leading 26th RBI on the sacrifice fly that plated Buchman, while Sproul touched home on the throwing miscue.
Louisiana Tech started the final frame with a single and double to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Janna Frandrup ended the shutout with a one-out single to center, which plated Erin Kipp, but Staton closed the door by inducing a fly ball and grounder.
Game two saw another pitchers' duel, this time between Jones and Alyssa Vordenbaum.
Blake led off the game with a single to extend her hitting streak and added another hit in the third.
The Roadrunners’ best scoring opportunity came in the fourth when Samantha Beeson and Jolene Graham stood on second and third with two outs. Jones got out of the jam by coaxing ground out and she surrendered just two hits in the final three innings of play.
The Lady Techsters took their first lead of the day and scored the game’s only run in the fifth.
Cross opened the panel with a single through the left side and she came around on Erin Kipp’s two-out hit to left field.
UTSA got a one-out single from Birdwell in the seventh, but Jones induced two fly outs to end the contest.
Vordenbaum (9-10) gave up the game's lone run on six hits, walked three and struck out five in going the distance.
Meanwhile, Jones (11-8) surrendering just four hits and issued a pair of free passes with a punchout.
The team's will conclude the series at 12 p.m. on Saturday.