CORPUS CHRISTI — UTSA plated seven runs in the second inning and the Roadrunners pushed their winning streak to five games with a 9-4 victory at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday.
The big frame was highlighted by Courtney Buchman’s bases-clearing triple and Jolene Graham posted season highs with three hits and two RBIs.
Alyssa Vordenbaum (5-3) struck out five in four innings of relief en route to the win.
UTSA (14-8), which now has won eight of its last nine outings, coaxed eight walks from Ashley Elicerio, who allowed seven earned runs. Meanwhile, Laura Phillips finished 1-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs for the Islanders (6-18).
After a scoreless first inning, UTSA broke the game open with its seven-run stanza.
Graham opened the inning with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Samantha Beeson and Vivian Tijerina also drew free passes before Paige Hamilton’s fielder’s choice plated Graham for a 1-0 lead.
Elicerio then issued another free pass to load the bases for Victoria Birdwell, who increased the lead to 2-0 with a single to left. With speed on the basepaths, the Roadrunners pulled off a triple-steal for another run.
Megan Low picked up the fifth walk of the inning to set the stage for Buchman’s blast to right center, which put UTSA ahead 6-0. Graham capped the scoring with a run-scoring infield single.
The Islanders got three runs back in the third with four consecutive two-out singles, but the Birds answered with a pair an inning later.
Birdwell reached base on an error by shortstop Valerie Perez and scored on Siera Sproul’s double to right center. Two batters later, Graham notched her second RBI of the contest and pushed the lead to back to a half dozen with a base hit through the left side of the infield.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi tacked on a run in the sixth off Vordenbaum, but the Pasadena native retired the home squad in order an inning later to close out the five-run victory.
UTSA will be back in action on Friday at the Nevada Classic in Reno, Nev. The Roadrunners will open the three-team event with a 2 p.m. (CT) matchup against Northern Colorado (7-15-1).