Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
HUNTSVILLE — No. 5 seed UTSA downed second-seeded UT Arlington, 4-3, in 11 innings on Friday at the Southland Conference Tournament and the Roadrunners (28-26) stayed alive to advance to another elimination game where they will face Southland Regular Season Champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (39-18) at 8:15 p.m.
With the bases loaded and one down in the final frame, senior Kristin Kappler hit a two-hopper back to the circle and Teri Lyles promptly threw home to force sophomore Haylee Staton out at the plate. However, Rachel Forshaw's toss to first to complete the inning-ending double play was in the dirt and that allowed junior Ashley Kappler, who was 2-for-6, to come home with the game-winning run.
"I'm very proud of our team because they never quit or put their heads down," interim head coach Stephanie Hughes said. "Through it all, they kept fighting and that effort allowed us to advance. It was a great game and you could see that neither team wanted to go home. At this point in the season, you need a little luck and we had it on our side this afternoon.”
"I'm happy to be moving on to face Corpus tonight," Ashley Kappler said. "It was a great team
win for us. We got contributions from everyone in the lineup and Danye (Holmes)
and Emily (Humpal) were great in the circle. I was just happy to add to that
effort with a hit in the 11th."
That made a winner out of senior Emily Humpal (11-5), who tossed five scoreless panels out of the UTSA bullpen. The Corpus Christi native allowed just a pair of singles, walked one and fanned a batter.
Lyles (16-15) went the distance, surrendering 11 hits to go along with three walks and 10 strikeouts. Only one of the four runs she gave up was earned.
UTSA now has won the last three extra-inning games it has played against the Mavericks (33-25) in the tournament and the previous two resulted in tournament championships (2004, '06). It also was the program's longest game since a 3-2, 11-stanza victory against Nicholls on April 5, 2009.
UT Arlington jumped ahead with an unearned run in the top of
The Birds then tied things up two innings later on Kristin Kappler's two-out single, which scored junior Nikki Goff, who led off the
panel with a 10-pitch walk.
The Roadrunners broke through and took their first lead of the day in
the fifth thanks to a pair of UT Arlington errors.
Fichtner and Kristin Kappler reached on a pair of fielder’s
choices that included a throwing error by Mavericks third baseman Taylor Zink. Junior Caitlyn Ivy then delivered with a two-out single up the middle that went
under the glove of center fielder Stephanie Gonzalez and the miscue allowed both runners to score for a 3-1 advantage.
That lead stood until the sixth when Courtney Enockson plated a pair with a single to right.