LONGVIEW — The UT Tyler softball team completed a sweep over LeTourneau University on Monday, defeating the Yellow Jackets 11-2 and 5-3 at LeTourneau Softball Field.
The doubleheader sweep over the American Southwest Conference opponent improves the 10-ranked Patriots to 18-3 on the year and 8-2 in ASC play.
“What a tough battle (in game two),” said Patriots’ head coach Mike Reed, whose club improves to 18-4 overall and 8-2 in ASC. “Anytime you’re on the road in the conference and get a four-game sweep is tough to do. We’ve struggled in late innings of the last couple of games, so I was proud to see us work out of that jam and close out the game.”
The Patriots swept the Yellow Jackets 14-4 and 11-3 on March 17 in Tyler.
UT Tyler returns home Thursday at 4 p.m. to face sixth-ranked Pacific Lutheran in a doubleheader.
Heather Abshire earned her ninth win of the year for the Patriots with the complete game effort. LeTourneau starter Kelli Parton, who allowed five runs in 1.1 innings, took the loss.
Both the Patriots and Yellow Jackets (12-12, 3-9) scored a run in the first inning. Katelyn Thomason led off the game with a double to right-center and scored on a double by Joey Cronin. LeTourneau’s run in the bottom of the inning came on a double by Anna Winter that scored Juliana Tuel.
UT Tyler posted four runs in the second inning thanks to home runs by Carli Wheeler and Thomason. Wheeler led off the frame with a solo shot down the left field line. Lauren Robenalt followed with a single and scored on a homer by Thomason. Taylor Petrick scored the final run of the inning on a single by Abshire.
A two-out error allowed the Patriots to add two runs in the third inning. Christin Mickelboro fielded a hard ground ball by Cronin, but the throw from her knees was wild, which permitted Rachel Howell and Thomason to score.
LeTourneau threatened in the bottom of the inning. The Yellow Jackets loaded the bases with two outs, but a diving catch by Thomason thwarted LeTourneau’s effort to score any runs and kept the Patriots ahead 7-1 through three innings.
UT Tyler put the game away in the fifth inning, scoring four in the frame and holding LeTourneau to just one run. Thomason, Petrick, Cronin and Jessica Ross all scored in the inning. The Yellow Jackets’ final run scored on an error.
The Patriots’ bats cooled down in game two and were held scoreless until the fourth inning. LeTourneau took the first lead of the game with a run in the bottom of the third inning. The Yellow Jackets scored on an error with two outs.
UT Tyler put together a two-out rally in the fourth inning to take the lead. Brittany Hay walked to lead off the inning and tied the game on a single by Petrick, who scored on a single by Abshire. Ashley Endsley drove in the final run of the inning on a single to right field.
The Patriots added a run in the fifth on a stolen base by Robenalt, but a two-run home run by LeTourneau’s Mickelboro in the sixth cut UT Tyler’s lead to one headed into the final frame.
UT Tyler extended their lead with a run in the top of the seventh. Robenalt reached base on a fielder’s choice and later scored on a single by Hay.
LeTourneau threatened in the bottom of the inning. The Yellow Jackets put two runners on with no outs, but failed to bring anyone home. Thomason worked out of the jam and fielded the last out of the contest. She earned her seventh win of the season in the complete game effort.
LeTourneau plays host to Pacific Lutheran in a DH today. The first game begins at 4 p.m.
LeTourneau Softball Field, Longview
UT Tyler 11, LETU 2
UT Tyler 142 04 — 11 12 2
LETU 100 01 — 2 7 2
Heather Abshire and Chandler McCrury. Kelli Parton, Taylor Thibodeaux (2) and Anna Winter. W – Abshire (9-1). L – Parton (5-3). E – UTT: Petrick, Hay. LETU: Christin Mickelboro, Brooklyn Green. LOB – UTT 10, LETU 7. 2B – UTT: Katelyn Thomason, Taylor Petrick, Joey Cronin. LETU: Anna Winter. HR – UTT: Thomason (second, two on), Carli Wheeler (second, solo). HBP – UTT: Brittney Batten. Winter. SB – UTT: Thomason, Jessica Ross, Lauren Robenalt.
UT Tyler 4, LETU 1
UT Tyler 000 310 1 — 5 9 3
LETU 001 002 0 — 3 4 1
Katelyn Thomason and Chandler McCrury. Taylor Thibodeaux and Anna Winter. W – Thomason (7-2). L – Thibodeaux (7-9). E – UTT: Abshire, Endsley (2) LETU: Whitehead. LOB – UT Tyler 12, LeTourneau 7. 3B – LETU: Tuel. HR – LETU: Mickelboro. HBP – UTT: Wheeler. LETU: Tuel. SB – UTT: Robenalt (2), Cronin, Hay (2). CS – UTT: Jessica Ross. LETU: Robin Waggoner.