PIRATES UPSET #2 UT TYLER IN FIRST ROUND OF NCAA REGIONALS
PINEVILLE, La. – Despite maintaining a lead through five and a half innings of play the Southwestern Pirates' softball team needed to come from behind once again in extra innings to upset the #2 team in the nation and #2 seed at the NCAA Regional, the University of Texas Tyler 3-2. With the win SU advances to the second round of the Regional Saturday at 2:00 pm.
The Pirates scored in the first inning as they have done all year and took an early 1-0 lead when Haley Hughes drove in lead-off hitter Aly Pulver who reached on a walk and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Blair Wallace.
Southwestern started off the fourth inning with a slap single by Taylor Turpin (pictured) and Bre Lewis followed with a shot to center field, putting both runners in scoring position. Amanda Ambrose stepped to the plate and worked to a full count before grounding to shortstop who threw home to get Turpin attempting to extend their lead. SU was unable to bring the runners around and headed into the bottom of the fourth with a slight 1-0 lead.
A one-out infield single by Smith in the fifth who then stole second base to threaten tying the game. Lyndsy Maus eventually walked the following batter to put runners at first and second. Pinch hitter Bross lined back to Maus on the mound who doubled off Smith at second who was going on the swing to get the Pirates out the jam.
UT Tyler tied the ball game in the bottom of the sixth as Cronin scored on a single to right center by Wyly and the throw home was just wide allowing the tying run to cross safely. Pinch runner Anderson was able to advance to third with two outs after an over throw on the pickoff attempt by Abigail O'Connor and she was brought home on an RBI single on the next pitch to right field. After six innings of play the Patriots had the 2-1 lead.
Kaitlyn Pavlicek brought in Gola for the game tying run on an RBI single up the middle and an aggressive Hughes was thrown out at the plate by a perfectly executed relay throw for the second out of the inning. With two outs Kara Solomon stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter who drew a walk to put runners at first and second. Turpin lined one back to the pitcher and it took a UT Tyler bounce for the easy force out, ending the inning.
As the game headed into extra innings the Pirates took the lead once again in the top of the eighth when Ambrose singled up the middle and was moved to second on a grounder by Pulver. She beat the throw home on Blair Wallace's single to right field. SU needed to just secure three outs in the bottom half of the inning to seal the victory.
UT Tyler's lead-off hitter of the inning was hit by a pitch to put the tying run on first. Wyly followed with a base hit down the third base line and a sacrifice bunt by Hanna moved both runners into scoring position with only one out. After an intentional walk to load the bases brought up Hurt who grounded to Gola and allowed SU to get the lead runner at home, saving the lead. With two outs Smith grounded out to Ambrose at short who tossed it to Gola for the final out.
Gola and Turpin led the way at the plate, both hitting 2-4 on the afternoon. Maus gets the complete game win going all eight innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits while walking two and striking out four.
Southwestern takes the opening round win 3-2 in extra innings and advances to face the winner of Mississippi College and East Texas Baptist University on Saturday at 2:00 pm.