Roadrunners earn split on first day of UTSA Mid-Major Classic
SAN ANTONIO — UTSA opened play at its Mid-Major Classic on Friday with a 7-4 victory against Bryant before dropping a 3-1 decision to Omaha at Roadrunner Field.
The Roadrunners (5-7) started the event with a pair of home runs, including the team's fourth grand slam of the season, to help snap a six-game losing streak before falling in the nightcap.
The Birds will continue tournament play on Saturday when they face Bryant (0-2) at 2 p.m. before a 4:30 p.m. contest against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3-8).
Game 1: UTSA 7, Bryant 4
UTSA scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by a grand slam from Madison Kinley, and held off Bryant for a 7-4 win to snap a six-game losing streak.
The Roadrunners got four hits in the inning, including an infield hit by Angelico Niño that set up Megan Low's two-run shot for an early 2-0 lead. The blast to left was Low's fifth of the season and already tied her career high for a campaign.
The inning continued with a pair of walks before Tess Soefje was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Kinley. The freshman took Katelin Saunders' 0-1 pitch over the wall in left for the first home run of her career and fourth grand slam by a Roadrunner this season.
However, the Bulldogs (0-2) fought back and scored four runs on five hits in the third. Madeline Velasquez and Elle Madsen each plated a run with a single before Lauren Guy doubled in a pair to cut the UTSA lead to 6-4.
Reliever Kacy Freeze came in to stop the Bryant rally and would keep the visitors off the bases with 4.2 perfect innings to keep UTSA in front.
The Roadrunners tacked on a run an inning later on Courtney Buchman's single through the right side, but left the bases loaded.
That was more than enough for Freeze, who registered a season-high eight strikeouts in improving to 2-3 on the spring.
Game 2: Omaha 3, UTSA 1
Omaha scored three runs in the final two innings to rally for a 3-1 win over UTSA in Friday's final game of the UTSA Mid-Major Classic.
Dana Elsasser went the distance for the Mavericks (8-3) and improved to 6-1 with one unearned run on three hits, three walks and five strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Nicole Merrill (2-3) took the loss for the Roadrunners after allowing two earned runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
After being held hitless through the first two innings, UTSA got on the board in the bottom of the third against Elsasser. Victoria Birdwell and Jade Smith opened the frame with back-to-back hits and moved to scoring position on a sacrifice bunt.
Megan Low missed a suicide squeeze bunt attempt, but Birdwell scored on an error by shortstop Tonya Peterson when she attempted a tag without the ball in her golve during the rundown for a 1-0 advantage.
Pitching with a slim lead, Merrill shut down Omaha until the top of the sixth when Sydney Hames' one-out single scored two runs. An inning later, Allie Mathewson's solo home run chased Merrill and provided the 3-1 final margin.
UTSA had one last chance, but Elsasser retired the side in order to seal the victory.