Low's three home runs power Roadrunners past I-35 rival Texas State, 9-6
SAN ANTONIO — Megan Low tied a school record with three home runs to extend her NCAA-leading total to 19 and she also drove in five runs, as UTSA defeated I-35 rival Texas State, 9-6, on Wednesday night at Roadrunner Field.
Low hit a solo homer and a pair of two-run shots in her first three at-bats of the night to tie the school standard set by Brittany Cantu (Feb. 10, 2006 — vs. Colorado State) and Jessica Rogers (March 24, 2007 — vs. Nicholls), which helped the Roadrunners (19-21) jump out to an 8-2 lead after four innings. Darian Blake, Tess Soefje and Vivian Tijerina each recorded two hits, while Nicole Merrill earned the victory in relief to improve to 7-7 on the season.
Meanwhile, Katie Doerre led the Bobcats (21-21) by going 2-for-3 with a round-tripper and three RBIs. Ashley Wright took the loss and fell to 2-3 on the campaign after allowing all nine runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings of work.
After starter Chelsea Parker breezed through the top of the first, Low wasted no time in extending her hitting streak to 13 games with a no-doubt homer to left center that gave UTSA a quick 1-0 lead.
That is where the score stood until she came to the plate in the third and, after a walk to Blake, crushed a towering two-run shot to left for a 3-0 lead. Just three pitches later, Jolene Graham made it 4-0 with a line-drive solo homer to left.
Texas State ended the shutout and chased Parker from the game with two runs in the fourth on a hit by Delia Saucedo and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kelli Baker.
The UTSA hit parade continued in the bottom of the panel as the Birds posted a four-spot for an 8-2 advantage.
With pinch runner Victoria Birdwell on third and Madison Kinley on second, Blake hit a one-hopper back to the circle. Wright fielded the ball and threw a strike to first, but Kendall Wiley lost the toss in the sun and both runners scored as the ball found its way to foul territory in right field. Blake raced all the way to third and was able to trot home on Low’s third homer of the night, this time to right center field.
However, the Bobcats would not go away and touched up reliever Kacy Freeze for four runs in the fifth to pull within 8-6. After Wiley plated a run with a single up the middle, Doerre hit a three-run homer to close the gap.
But that would be as close as the Bobcats would get. Blake singled up the middle to score Courtney Buchman, who was hit by a pitch before she stole second, in the bottom of the inning. The hit also came after a walk to Randee Crawford and single from Kinley and loaded the bases for Low.
Texas State reliever Rayn House kept the Bobcats in the game by running the count full before retiring Low for the first time on the night with a grounder.
Merrill worked around a leadoff walk in the seventh and struck out a pair to end the game. In all, the freshman tossed 2.2 innings and allowed just two hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
The Roadrunners will be back in action at 3 p.m. (CT) on Saturday when they open a weekend series with a doubleheader at FIU (25-15, 7-5 C-USA).