TYLER, TEXAS – #1 UT Tyler plated three runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back to win game one of the 2022 NCAA Division II South Central Super Regionals over no. 3 seeded Texas A&M-Kingsville by a 5-1 final tally.
The Patriots led off the ballgame with four consecutive singles to lead to those three early runs and then worked behind sophomore Tatum Goff’s fourth complete-game effort of the postseason to cruise to the crucial game one victory.
UT Tyler is now just a single win away from going to the NCAA Division II World Series with game two scheduled for a 3 p.m. start tomorrow afternoon, and the if-necessary game three slated for a 6 p.m. start.
Goff struck out eight Javelinas and allowed just four hits in her 7.0 innings of work, and benefitted from the early advantage as well as seven innings of solid defensive effort for the Patriots. The Rusk, Texas native once again put the first run on the board for the Patriots, capping off a string of four singles to open up the South Central Super Regionals for UT Tyler.
Goff plated leadoff batter Shannon Klaus to make it 1-0 and then gave way to a pair of sacrifice flys from Mak Dominguez and Audrey Escamilla that were hit deep enough to score Courtney Plocheck and Ashley Perez. Klaus, Plocheck, and Perez all did damage at the top of the Patriot lineup, each finishing 2-for-3 at the plate with a total of four runs scored between the three standouts.
Escamilla added her second sacrifice fly that scored a run in the bottom of the fourth to make it 4-0 in favor of the Patriots after Texas A&M-Kingsville let their best opportunity to cut into the early UT Tyler lead slip away in the top half of the frame. The Javelinas loaded the bases with just a single out after Goff retired the first nine batters she faced in order, but couldn’t manage to squeeze a single run across.
Goff struck out each of the next two Javelinas that stepped to the plate to keep the 3-0 advantage intact prior to the sac fly from Escamilla in the bottom half of the inning that extended the lead to four. Perez then added the fifth and final run of the ball game for the Patriots in the bottom of the fifth, complimenting a two-out base hit from Plocheck that set Perez up to drive her home from first with a double to left-center.
Texas A&M-Kingsville was able to score the lone run of the game in the top of the sixth on an RBI double of their own, the lone blemish of the ballgame in the circle for Goff.
UT Tyler scored their five runs off of 10 hits and utilized two highlight-reel catches from right fielder Amanda Marek and a key double play in the top of the sixth to display an outstanding defensive effort across the board.
One win tomorrow afternoon would punch the Patriot’s ticket to the Division II World Series scheduled for May 26-30 in Denver, Colo.