UT Tyler crushes Centenary in softball DH

UT Tyler softball pitcher Heather Abshire pitches against Centenary on Thursday afternoon at UT Tyler Ballpark. (Sarah A. Miller | Tyler Morning Telegraph)

UT Tyler’s softball squad walked all over Centenary College in a non-conference matchup Thursday night. The Patriots swept the doubleheader with wins of 13-0 and 12-0 and allowed three combined hits UT Tyler Ballpark.

The 10th-ranked Patriots, who improved to 15-3 on the year, posted three runs in their first frame at the plate. Katelyn Thomason and Lauren Robenalt started the inning with singles. Ashley Endsley and Heather Abshire followed with RBI singles. Endsley scored the final run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Taylor Petrick.

UT Tyler added five runs in the second after a two-strikeout inning by Abshire in the top of the inning. Carli Wheeler plated the first run on an RBI single by Thomason, who scored on a hit by Robenalt. Petrick, Rachel Howell and Brittany Hay added RBIs in the inning as well.

The Patriots extended their lead by one in the third inning and pushed ahead in the fourth with four additional runs. Abshire drove in UT Tyler’s lone run in the third and knocked in two more in the fourth. Thomason and Robenalt recorded the Patriots’ other RBIs in the fourth.

Abshire closed out the game in the top of the fifth in the circle for the one-hit, complete-game shutout. Centenary’s only hit occurred on a bunt by Keya Brandon in the fourth inning.

The Patriots kept their hitting clinic going in Game 2, scoring four runs in the first and five in the second. UT Tyler’s runs in the first all came with two outs. Brittney Batten knocked in the first run after walks by Endsley and Abshire, who stole home for the Patriots’ second run. Petrick and Hay drove in the last two runs of the frame on singles.

Endsley, Abshire and Batten also knocked in runs in the second frame. Petrick and Ashlee Johnson recorded RBIs in the second as well.

UT Tyler scored one run in the third and added two in the fourth to take a 12-0 lead. Amanda Lopez picked up an RBI in the third inning on a fielder’s choice. Endsley earned her second RBI of the game on a bases-loaded walk in the fifth. The Patriots’ final run of the night scored on a groundout by Elise Dillow.

Thomason earned the win for UT Tyler in Game 2, allowing one hit in three innings. Lopez and Victoria Combs tag-teamed the final two innings for the Patriots.

UT Tyler continues its American Southwest Conference schedule with two doubleheaders in the next four days. The Patriots travel to Pineville, La., to face conference rival Louisiana College on Saturday and then to Longview on Monday to play LeTourneau.

UT Tyler returns home next Thursday for a non-conference game against Pacific Lutheran. Game 1 is set to start at 4 p.m.

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