SAN ANTONIO — No. 4 UTSA opened Southland Conference Tournament play with a 4-3 victory against fifth-seeded Central Arkansas on Friday before falling to I-35 rival and regular season champion Texas State, 2-1, on Friday. The Roadrunners (24-27) will take on No. 6 seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (17-22) in an elimination game at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
UTSA tops Central Arkansas in Southland Tournament opener, 4-3
SAN ANTONIO — Fourth-seeded UTSA pounded out 10 hits, including a pair of home runs, and the Roadrunners defeated No. 5 Central Arkansas, 4-3, in the opening game of the 2012 Southland Conference Tournament on Friday at Roadrunner Field.
UTSA (24-26) got two hits each from seniors Ashley Kappler and Caitlyn Ivy and sophomore Molly Fichtner and the Roadrunners will face regular season champion Texas State (35-15) at 4 p.m. later today.
Meanwhile, Tiffany Roby went 1-for-3 with a home run to lead the Bears (36-21).
UTSA got its offense going in the opening inning with three consecutive one-out singles to load the bases. Senior Nikki Goff then coaxed a run-scoring walk on the 10th pitch of her plate appearance for a 1-0 lead. However, Central Arkansas starter Kelsie Armstrong limited the damage with an infield fly and fly out to end the inning.
The advantage grew to three in the third when Ivy crushed a two-run homer to right after a one-out walk to freshman Megan Low. It was her fourth long ball of the season.
However, the Bears did not go away and they trimmed the deficit to one when Roby connected on a two-run shot of her own in the fourth.
Senior Alaina Byars got one of those runs back in the bottom of the frame with her third round-tripper of the campaign, which put the Roadrunners back on top by a pair of runs.
Melissa Bryant’s sacrifice fly to right in the fifth once again cut the deficit to one, but Central Arkansas got no closer, as junior Haylee Staton (15-7) kept the Bears off the board the rest of the way for the win.
The Austin native allowed three runs on six hits and struck out five.
Meanwhile, Armstrong (22-14) surrendered all four UTSA runs on a half dozen hits in just three-plus innings of work.
Texas State edges UTSA on Friday, 2-1
SAN ANTONIO — Selena Hernandez drove in a pair of runs with a sixth-inning double and top-seeded Texas State rallied for a 2-1 victory against No. 4 UTSA on Friday in the third game of the 2012 Southland Conference Tournament.
Sophomore Molly Fichtner went 1-for-3 and drove in the the Roadrunners' lone run with a two-bagger in the third.
UTSA (24-27) will face sixth-seeded Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (17-22) in an elimination contest at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The Islanders dropped an 11-3 decision to No. 3 McNeese State earlier Friday.
Southland Player and Pitcher of the Year Chandler Hall limited UTSA to just four hits and struck out eight in a complete-game effort for the Bobcats (36-15).
Seniors Laura Little and Ashley Kappler reached base with a pair of one-out infield singles in the third to set the table for Fichtner, who drove in her 18th run of the season with her double to left center. However, that was all of the offense the Roadrunners managed the rest of the way.
Texas State’s decisive fifth inning started with a strikeout and fly out before pinch hitter Allison Snow’s infield single sparked the rally. Jordan Masek followed with a bunt single and Hernandez drilled a double over the head of freshman center fielder Courtney Buchman to score plate the game-winning runs.
That was more than enough for Hall (21-6), who retired 13 of the final 14 hitters she faced after Fichtner's two-bagger.
Junior Haylee Staton (15-8) went the distance for the second consecutive outing and allowed two runs on five hits.
Texas State, which defeated UTSA for the first time in three postseason matchups, will face either No. 2 Sam Houston State or third seed McNeese State in a winners bracket contest at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.