UT-Tyler comes back to beat ETBU, win ASC Championship
POSTED: Sunday, May 4, 2014 - 9:51pm
UPDATED: Monday, May 5, 2014 - 1:15pm
Tyler, Tx (KETK/UT-Tyler Media Release) — The UT Tyler softball team scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning, pushing the game to extra innings, where the Patriots scored the winning run, clinching the American Southwest Conference Softball Championship against rival East Texas Baptist.
Game 15 of the tournament was the "win and get in" game, as the Patriots fell earlier to the Tigers 4-2 in the first game on Sunday.
UT Tyler (41-4) staged a dramatic rally in the top of the seventh, trailing 4-1 to the No. 2 seed and rival Tigers.
The inning started with a throwing error by ETBU's Kaitlin Hollingshead, allowing Raven Rodriguez to reach base safely.
Freshman Lexi Ackroyd, who came into the game as a defensive replacement, followed with a hit-by-pitch.
With one out, and runners on second and third, senior Lauren Robenalt loaded the bases with a walk, setting the stage for Shelby Shelton.
Shelton delivered, knocking a single up the middle, scoring Rodriguez and Ackroyd to put the Patriots down 4-3.
After Robenalt advance to third on the play, the senior would later score on a wild pitch, tying the game at 4-4.
The Tigers threatened to put the game away in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with one out, but heady defense and strong pitching by Kelsie Batten would keep the game tied.
In the top of the eighth, Whitney Burt led off the inning with a single, and would eventually score the game-winning run.
With two outs, the freshman Ackroyd again reached base, this time on an error, allowing Burt to score, giving UT Tyler the 5-4 lead.
ETBU got two runner aboard in the bottom of the eighth, but Batten would get three, delivering the game and the conference championship to the Patriots.
The game was the sixth this season against the Tigers, with the Patriots taking a 5-1 series lead on the year.
UT Tyler has now won three ASC Softball Championships, in 2014, 2012 and 2009, and will head to the NCAA Regionals for the seventh time in program-history.
The NCAA Regional field will be announced at 9 a.m. on Monday.