SAN ANTONIO — Vivian Tijerina’s two-run single to left field capped a five-run seventh-inning rally that lifted UTSA to a 7-6 victory against San Jose State on Friday night at Roadrunner Field.
The Roadrunners improved to 19-12 overall and now are the only unbeaten team in Western Athletic Conference play at 4-0. Tijerina, who was named the league’s hitter of the week on Monday, went 2-for-3 with her two RBIs, while Darian Blake and Jolene Graham each added a pair of hits.
UTSA touched up reigning WAC Pitcher of the Week Amanda Pridmore for six earned runs on 10 hits in sending the Spartans (24-11, 3-1 WAC) to their first conference defeat of the spring. The loss also snapped a 10-game winning streak for San Jose State, which got two RBIs from Vanessa House and a solo home run from Markesha Collins.
The Birds picked up a 1-0 lead in the third inning on a one-out double by Blake. Paige Hamilton reached on a fielder’s choice and came around from first on Blake’s shot to the gap in left center.
Starter Haylee Staton breezed through the Spartans lineup the first time through and did not allow a hit until Collins’ solo homer to start the fourth. San Jose State added another run in the frame on Jessie Hufstetler’s single to left and the visitors did not trail again until the game’s final at-bat.
The advantage stretched to 4-1 in the sixth on House’s two-run double down the left-field line.
UTSA got a run back in the bottom of the panel on a Samantha Beeson run-scoring grounder that followed an error to load the bases.
However, San Jose State tacked on two insurance tallies in the top of the seventh to chase Staton from the game.
Hamilton got the UTSA rally started with a double to right that was followed by a Blake single to left. Courtney Buchman picked up her first hit of the night and drove in a run on her base hit to right, which cut the deficit to 6-3 with no outs.
However, Pridmore responded with back-to-back strikeouts and was one out away from her 16th victory of the season.
Graham put momentum back on the Roadrunners’ side with her single through the left side before Birdwell took Pridmore’s 2-2 pitch to the gap in right center that pulled UTSA to within one at 6-5. Samantha Beeson then walked on five pitches to set up Tijerina’s at-bat.
The Atascosa native fell behind in the count 0-2 before she worked the count even and lined Pridmore’s final pitch of the night to left field to plate Graham and Birdwell to end the game.
The rally gave Graham (3-3) her third win of the season after going the final two-thirds of an inning. The Sutter, Calif., native walked two, but she did not surrender a hit.
Meanwhile, Pridmore (15-8) gave up seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits and a pair of walks.
The teams will finish the weekend series with a 4 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday.