NACOGDOCHES — Freshman Courtney Buchman delivered a run-scoring double with two down in the eighth and that lifted UTSA to a 2-1 victory at Stephen F. Austin on Saturday afternoon in the regular-season finale for both squads.
Junior Alyssa Vordenbaum (4-10) allowed just one hit in four innings of relief, as the Roadrunners improved to 23-26 overall and 12-8 in Southland Conference play. UTSA finished the league slate in a three-way tie for third and will enter next week’s Southland Tournament as the No. 4 seed.
Carlie Thomas (10-14) went the distance and struck out eight for the Ladyjacks (16-33, 6-14 SLC).
Stephen F. Austin threatened in the opening inning and matched their hit total from game one with a double and infield single. Junior Haylee Staton got a pair of outs before Cadie Weaver was robbed of an extra-base hit by junior Samantha Beeson’s diving catch in right center to end the threat.
The Ladyjacks broke through in the fourth when Elizabeth Arana scored on Kaitlyn Mixon’s single. Arana started the panel with a triple to right center and came across with the Ladyjacks’ lone run of the series on Mixon’s base hit through the right side of the infield two batters later.
The Roadrunners countered with a pair of two-out hits to tie things up an inning later.
Beeson opened the frame with a single before going to third on senior Ashley Kappler’s two-out single to center. Sophomore Molly Fichtner followed with a base knock to left center for her 17th RBI of the season.
That’s where the score stood until the eighth, when Buchman’s two-out double provided the game-winning run.
Freshman Megan Low was hit by a pitch to start the inning and was replaced by pinch runner Siera Sproul, who moved to second on senior Caitlyn Ivy's sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Buchman stoked Thomas' 3-1 pitch off the paint of the left-field line to bring Sproul plateward.
Vordenbaum allowed a single to start the bottom half of the inning, but SFA was unable to capitalize.
Staton allowed one run on five hits with three strikeouts in her four innings of work.
The Roadrunners, who will serve as the host for next week's tournament, will face fifth-seeded Central Arkansas (36-20) at 11 a.m. on Thursday in the event's first contest. UTSA swept the Bears in an April 7 home doubleheader by scores of 3-0 and 2-1.