Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
SAN ANTONIO — UTSA twice rallied from deficits in the seventh inning for a doubleheader sweep of Nicholls by scores of 7-6 and 5-4 (10 innings) on Friday at Roadrunner Field.
Freshman Jori Fox went a combined 5-for-9 at the plate with two home runs, both in game two, and three RBIs to lead the Roadrunners (24-23, 14-12 SLC), while junior Morgan Luksa and sophomore Haylee Staton recorded relief wins.
Both squads took advantage of a strong wind blowing out to center.
The Colonels (9-32, 2-17 SLC) struck first in the opener on Brittany Marcet’s two-run homer in the second.
UTSA cut the lead in half an inning later on an run-scoring double by senior Kristin Kappler.
The Roadrunners took their first lead of the day in the bottom of the fourth, when they exploded for four runs.
Fox led off the frame with a single to left and pinch runner Laura Little came around to score on a two-run shot from junior Nikki Goff. The no-doubt homer gave UTSA a 3-2 that grew to 5-2 on freshman Molly Fichtner’s two-run single to right center.
However, Nicholls put up a four-spot of its own in the sixth to take a 6-5 advantage. After a pair of quick outs in the frame, a walk and back-to-back singles plated the first run of the inning before Ashley Ray’s three-run homer to left center put the Colonels back in front.
Down to their final three outs, Kappler led off the seventh with a shot to shortstop that was mishandled and she was relieved on the bases by freshman Siera Sproul. Junior Caitlyn Ivy then singled to left before Fox tied the game with an RBI single to right center. Senior Danye Holmes walked to load the bases for sophomore Samantha Beeson, who drew a free pass to force in the winning run.
Staton (6-7) allowed a run on two hits in 1.1 innings, while Ashton Bennett (5-14) gave up a pair of marks on five hits in 2.2 panels.
In game two, the Colonels used two-run homers by Whitney Roan in the first stanza and Ray in the third to build a 4-0 lead.
Like in the first contest, UTSA began to chip away and got on the board thanks to Ivy’s sixth home run of the season. The Huntington native turned on Katie Moulder’s 2-1 pitch and crushed it over the fence in right center. Two batters later, Fox’s solo blast to left made it 4-2.
That score stood until the seventh when Fox led off the inning with her third homer of the season and second of the day. Two batters later, Beeson singled through the left side to represent the tying run and, with two outs, junior Ashley Kappler walked and Fichtner’s single up the middle plated Beeson to tie the game.
The Roadrunners were unable to win it in the seventh and, after neither team scored the next two innings, the international tie-break rules were used in the 10th.
With a runner on second, Luksa recorded two outs before Katie Holmes singled up the middle. Center fielder Laura Little charged the ball and her strong throw back to the infield held the runner at third base. Luksa then coaxed a grounder to end the threat.
UTSA quickly took advantage in the bottom of the frame when Sproul sacrificed Ivy from second to third. On in relief, Bennett got Fox to ground out to short, which kept Ivy stranded on third with two outs. With Goff at the plate, Bennett’s delivery bounced in front of the plate and went all the way to the backstop, allowing Ivy to score the winning run.
Luksa (3-6) hurled two scoreless frames out of the bullpen, while Bennett (5-15) suffered her second defeat of the afternoon after allowing a run in 2.2 innings.
The Roadrunners will look for their second consecutive Southland Conference series sweep when the two teams meet at noon on Saturday. Holmes, Emily Humpal, Carrie Monroe and Kristin Kappler will be honored in a pregame ceremony as part of Senior Day festivities.