Roadrunners drop pair on opening day of Mississippi Gulf Coast Classic
GULFPORT, Miss. — UTSA dropped a pair of games on Friday to open play at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Classic. The Roadrunners started the day with a 6-2 setback to No. 24 Louisiana-Lafayette before dropping a 6-0 decision to Mississippi State.
Victoria Birdwell led the Roadrunners (7-10) with three hits on the day, while UTSA pitchers combined to strike out 12 batters.
UTSA will continue tournament play on Saturday against Chattanooga (8-6) at 11 a.m. and 14th-ranked South Alabama (11-1) three hours later.
Game 1: #24 Louisiana-Lafayette 6, UTSA 2
Victoria Birdwell tied a career high with three hits and Jori Fox drove in two runs, but No. 24 Louisiana-Lafayette plated runs in each of the first four innings en route to a 6-2 win over UTSA on Friday morning.
Birdwell went 3-for-3 at the dish, including her first triple of the season, to lead the Roadrunners (7-9).
Meanwhile, Sara Corbello also went 3-for-3 and slugged her sixth home run of the season to help back a strong start from Christina Hamilton in the circle for the Ragin’ Cajuns (10-5-1). Hamilton allowed just one unearned and five hits while racking up 14 strikeouts to improve to 4-1.
Louisiana-Lafayette pushed across a run with two outs in the first when Lexie Elkins walked and scored on Shelbi Redfearn’s triple. The lead increased to 2-0 an inning later after Corbello led off the second with a solo shot to center.
However, UTSA knotted the score in the top of the third on Fox’s two-out RBI single to right field. With one out, Courtney Buchman walked before Megan Low reached base after being hit by a pitch and the pair moved up 60 feet on a passed bal. Hamilton nearly got out of the jam with a strikeout of Siera Sproul and an 0-2 count on Fox before the UTSA senior delivered her run-scoring hit.
But that would prove to be all of the offense that the Roadrunners could muster against Hamilton, who allowed just two hits to Birdwell over the final four frames.
In the meantime, the Ragin’ Cajuns grabbed the lead again with two runs in the third and fourth for a 6-2 cushion.
UTSA loaded the bases in the sixth with a hit batter, single and walk, but Hamilton got pinch-hitter Randee Crawford to strikeout to end the threat.
The Birds had one last chance in the seventh, but managed just a two-out walk before the side was retired to close out the win for Louisiana-Lafayette.
Game 2: Mississippi State 6, UTSA 0
Alexis Silkwood allowed just two hits in six innings to lead Mississippi State to a 6-0 win over UTSA in the Roadrunners’ final game of the day.
Silkwood notched seven strikeouts and did not walk a batter in improving to 4-0 on the season, while the Bulldogs remained unbeaten and pushed their record to 15-0. Heidi Shape and Logan Foulks each drove in two runs to lead the offense.
Meanwhile, Courtney Buchman and Siera Sproul each had hits for the Roadrunners, who fell to 7-10 on the season.
Mississippi State scored at least one run in four consecutive innings to slowly pull away from UTSA.
Caroline Seitz doubled home a run in the second to break the scoreless tie before Foulks extended the lead to 3-0 in the third with a two-run homer. An inning later, Shape plated two with a single up the middle and Mackenzie Toler capped the scoring with a double in the fifth.
That was more than enough for Silkwood, who allowed just one Roadrunner to advance to scoring position.