Patriots Pitchers Shine During Sweep

UT Tyler second baseman Taylor Petrick flips the ball to shortstop Ashlee Johnson for an out during the first game of Sunday's doubleheader against Southwestern Univ. at UT Tyler Ballpark. The Patriots won both games, 3-1 and 8-0, (Photo by Vanessa E. Curry)

The UT Tyler softball team made quick work of Southwestern University on Sunday in a non-conference doubleheader at UT Tyler Ballpark. The second-ranked Patriots defeated the Pirates 3-1 and 8-0 to improve to 6-0 on the young season. 

Katelyn Thomason earned the complete-game shutout in game two. She pitched six innings, allowed two hits and struck out 11 for her second win of the year. 

“I was working my pitches, hitting my spots and I had a great defense behind me,” Thomason said. “I hit my corners really well and I just made sure to keep the ball down.” 

The Patriots jumped on the board early in the first game of the afternoon. Lauren Robenalt singled with one out in the bottom of the first and later scored on an error in right field. Joey Cronin looped a hit down the right field line, and after dropping in for a single, Southwestern right fielder Kaitlyn Pavlicek misplayed it, which allowed Robenalt to score.

UT Tyler added unearned runs in the third and fourth inning. Carli Wheeler reached base on an error to start the third and later stole second. Thomason drove her in with two outs to give the Patriots a 2-0 lead. 

Kellen Gomez, pinch running for Taylor Petrick who doubled, scored UT Tyler’s final run of the first game. Gomez moved to third on a ground out and scored on a throwing error. 

Southwestern scored their lone run of the day on a single by Amanda Ambrose in the fifth inning. Karen Ramirez scored on the hit to right field. The Pirates threatened in the seventh, but stranded two runners. 

Heather Abshire, who worked out of a seventh inning jam, earned her third win this year in a complete-game effort. She allowed one run on eight hits and struck out seven. 

In game two, the Patriots jumped ahead 6-0 in the second inning. The first two runs game came on a throwing error. Ashley Endsley and Whitney Burt scored when a throw from Ambrose ended up in the Pirates’ dugout. 

Cronin knocked in the next three runs on a home run to left field. Chandler McCrury and Wheeler scored on the play. Thomason plated the last run of the frame. She reached base on a single, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on another Pirate error.

UT Tyler added runs in the fourth and sixth innings, resulting in the game ending after six. Cronin scored in the fourth on a throwing error by left fielder Kady Freshour. Wheeler plated the final run of the day on fielder’s choice. 

“I thought our pitchers threw the best they have in the past couple of years,” softball head coach Mike Reed said. “We were ahead in the count all day … and both threw outstanding ball games.” 

The Patriots continue the 2012 campaign at the American Southwest Conference First Pitch Tournament at Oran Good Park in Farmers Branch. UT Tyler is scheduled to face Mary Hardin-Baylor (12:30 p.m.) and Southwestern (5:30 p.m.) on Friday, and Hardin-Simmons (10 a.m.) and Concordia-Texas (3 p.m.) on Saturday. 

“We’ve got a tough draw (this weekend),” Reed said. “It’s probably the toughest draw we’ve had in a couple of years, but we’re excited about it.” 

After the First Pitch Tournament, the Patriots travel to Mississippi College on March 6, and then return home March 10 to face Centenary.