Two UT Tyler standouts — softball’s Heather Abshire and baseball’s Billy Lirely — earned player of the week honors from the American Southwest Conference.
Abshire, a junior from Lafayette, La., was voted Hitter of the Week for the East Division.
The first baseman went 8 for 12 with a double and seven RBIs to fuel a 3-1 week. Abshire also scored two runs, walked once, stole a base and never struck out. She also excelled in the circle, going 2-0 with eight strikeouts and did not allow an earned run over 12 2/3 innings of work.
Lirely, a sophomore outfielder Waynesville, N.C., was co-hitter of the week for the East. He went 5 for 11 with a home run, a triple, two doubles and six RBIs over a three-game ASC East Division road series against East Texas Baptist. Lirely also scored five runs, walked three times and stole two bases. All but one of his hits went for extra bases. Lirely helped the Patriots set a program-record for runs in a game by hitting a three-run homer and reaching base five times in a 30-14 win.
The baseball club has a weekend series with the Ozarks at Irwin Field. A single game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, with a doubleheader slated to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Top 10 Softball Matchup
UT Tyler Ballpark will be the site of two top 10 softball teams today. No. 10 UT Tyler (18-4) takes on No. 6 Pacific Lutheran (22-6). The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.
The Lutes are on a Texas swing and are 6-0 prior to Wednesday’s games with LeTourneau in Longview. The Tacoma, Wash., school has swept Hardin-Simmons Saturday in Abilene (1-0, 8-0), Mary Hardin-Baylor Monday in Tyler (6-0, 4-0) and East Texas Baptist Tuesday in Marshall (4-0, 3-2).
After today’s games, the Patriots have an important ASC DH on Saturday at UT Tyler Ballpark against Mississippi College. The first game is slated to begin at 1 p.m.
The Patriots took on several Division I opponents and some former Olympians during Saturday’s Bobby Layne Invitational on the campus of UT Arlington.
Four-time Olympic medal winner Jeremy Wariner took part as well.
Sophomore Christian Kearney placed his name in the UT Tyler record books in the triple jump, with jump of 47 feet, placing him in fifth place.
Tanner Conkel also had a successful day against stiff competition, placing fourth in the men’s high jump with a leap of 2.00 meters. Also, thrower Chris Stonestreet placed fourth in the hammer, with a toss of 54.77 meters.
Stonestreet was not the only Patriots thrower to have success, Buck Thompson finished fifth in the discus with a throw of 51.58 meters, and eleventh in the shot put (14.79 meters). Ed Palencia placed sixth in the javelin with a throw of 55.04 meters.
For the runners, Ross Renfroe finished 11th in the 1500 meter run, while teammate Nick Huff finished 16th in the men’s 800 meter run.
The UT Tyler netters had a busy weekend, topped off by splitting with Trinity on Sunday at the Summers Tennis Center.
The women won 5-4, while the men fell to the Tiers, 7-2.
After losing to Whitman (6-3) on Friday, and winning against Hardin-Simmons (9-0) on Saturday, the women had a tough matchup with the No. 13 team in the nation.
In singles action, Sydni Hermsdorf won 6-3, 6-4, while Brittany Trich won 6-4, 7-6.
The Patriot women (8-4) swept the doubles matchups, giving UT Tyler the win. Hermsdorf and Amy Friesenhahn teamed up to win the No. 1 doubles matchup, winning 8-6.
Jessica Blundell and Jennifer Payne won 8-2, while Ashley Albro and Morgan Wilkins notched the victory for the Patriots, winning 9-7.
After winning the first two matches of the weekend, Friday over Linfield (8-1) and Saturday over Hardin-Simmons (7-2), the UT Tyler men (7-5) were able to win just two matches, both in singles competition.
Junior Kevin Singer defeated Jordan Mayer 6-0, 7-6, while Rob Hodous came from behind, winning 4-6, 6-4, 10-7.
Both teams get back in action Friday, with the women taking on Huntingdon at 11:30 a.m. and Louisiana College at 2:30 p.m. in Pineville, La.
The men’s team takes on Louisiana College at 2:30 p.m. Friday.