TYLER, TEXAS – #3 UT Tyler started and finished strong at the plate and got two more quality starts from Payton Foster and Erin Hill to sweep St. Edward’s by 5-2 and 8-0 final tallies on Senior Day.
The Patriots collected their 20th win in Lone Star Conference play with the 5-2 game one win and honored their 2021 seniors in fine fashion with an 8-0 run rule to compete the doubleheader sweep at Suddenlink Field. Foster struck out nine in her complete game effort in game one while Hill picked up her 15th win of the season in game two with a complete game shutout in her five innings of work.
UT Tyler scored five through the first two innings of game number one and then completed the day with five runs in the bottom half of the fifth to enact the run rule, an effort that was capped off by a pinch-hit walk-off single by senior Marissa Trezza with two outs and the bases loaded. Trezza was one of 10 seniors to be honored by the Patriot softball program for their storied careers between games, and rose to the occasion to keep UT Tyler in the mix at the top of the Lone Star Conference standings in walk-off fashion.
Ashley Perez hit a pair of two RBI doubles in the first and second innings of game number one, scoring Courtney Plocheck on both extra-base hits to finish game one 2-for-4 from the plate with a pair of RBI. Bayli Simon scored the second run of the first inning with a sac fly that scored Hanna Fradkin, who drew one of the two walks in the first trip to the plate for the Patriots.
Foster retired five of the first six batters she faced in the contest, and benefitted from a Patriot offense that plated three more in the second.
Mak Dominguez kept the offense rolling with a leadoff solo homer to increase the advantage to 3-0. Perez scored Plocheck once again with a double later in the inning to make it 4-0, and then Shae Harris scored Fradkin for her second run of the day in as many trips to the plate on a fielder’s choice.
Those five runs in the first and second were all that the Patriots needed in the game as Foster dug in and took it from there to secure win number 20 in conference play for UT Tyler. The Lufkin, Texas native rebounded from a leadoff solo homer in the third for St. Edward’s to retire the following three batters and then worked around a jam in the fourth to allow just a single run despite having the bases loaded with just one out.
Foster got the final two outs needed in the frame after an infield single scored a Hilltoppers run for the second inning in a row, grounding out the next batter and then striking out the final batter of the inning to strand runners on second and third. Foster allowed just a single base runner from then on, retiring all six batters she faced in the sixth and seventh to finish off the 5-2 Patriot win.
UT Tyler put runs on the board in the first two innings for the second time in-game number two as Serena Saldivar drew a walk with two outs and the bases loaded to get the game started with a 1-0 Patriot advantage. Dominguez scored that second run for the Patriots in the second after a leadoff double, coming around to score on a Shelby Hughston single to double the UT Tyler lead.
Hill cruised through the first three innings with the 2-0 advantage still intact, before Perez once again cashed in a run with a sac fly in the fourth to score Hughston.
The Patriot defense kept that 3-0 advantage with a key play in which they caught the runner trying to steal home with a string of quality throws after Perez threw down to second, and then tagged out the runner at home on the steal attempt. That play put an end to the only St. Edward’s scoring threat of the second game against Hill, and paved the way for the five-run fifth inning to enact the run rule.
UT Tyler had five hits in that fifth, two of which were bunts by Dominguez and Houston that scored the Patriot runner from third for the fifth and sixth runs of the contest after Haleigh Swinney doubled to left to extend the lead to 4-0. UT Tyler loaded the bases a few batters later with two outs, setting the stage for Trezza to come in as a pinch hitter and end it after Simon drew a walk to score the seventh run of the game.
Trezza delivered and singled to right field to bring Fradkin home for the eighth and final Patriot run of the day.
Five different Patriots had multiple hits in game number two, while Fradkins scored four times herself throughout the two games. Hill finished with the complete-game shutout, striking out four while allowing just five hits.
UT Tyler and Oklahoma Christian finished the day each with 21 wins in conference play, while the Patriots will have a chance to jump back out to a two-game advantage in the league standings with a rescheduled doubleheader on Tuesday against St. Mary’s. Oklahoma Christian was able to play all four scheduled games against UT Permian Basin and Western New Mexico over the weekend.
That doubleheader will get started at 1 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon for the Patriots final home action at Suddenlink Field of the year.