SAN ANTONIO (March 29-30, 2014) – The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) softball team hoped to pull into first place after defeating the University of the Southwest 1-0 in both games on Saturday. But on Sunday, the Mustangs came back to best the Saints 4-3 and 5-3 to maintain their first-place standing in the Red River Athletic Conference.
The Saints are now 19-7-1 overall and 6-2 in the conference, while Southwest improves to 19-11 overall and 9-3 in conference – one full game ahead of OLLU.
The first game on Saturday had Katrisha Arocha (JR/San Antonio, Texas) on the mound for OLLU. She held the Mustangs to two hits and six strikeouts through the fourth inning. The Saints scored what was to be the winning run to close out the fourth inning after Amanda Hinojosa (SR/San Antonio, Texas) homered to left field.
In seven innings, Arocha allowed four hits while striking out nine. Brittany Stone (JR/Helotes, Texas) and Ashley Perez (SR/San Antonio, Texas) hit two of the three hits allowed by losing pitcher Ciara Fraher. She struck out three and walked three.
In the second game, Hinojosa once again scored the winning and only run for the Saints. She did this in the second inning after she reached base on a walk. Maegan Ramirez (JR/Helotes, Texas) drove Hinojosa in on a double.
Ramirez on the mound for the Saints pitched five innings allowing one hit, while striking out five and walking three. Arocha recorded the save after striking out three and allowing one hit.
The early-morning game on Sunday remained scoreless through the fourth inning. Arleen Alamanza hit a two-run homer that drove in pinch-runner Fraher to give Southwest the 2-0 lead. First at bat in the fifth inning, Kendra Santillan hit a home run. After a Saints error, Briana Eoff scored and the inning ended with the Mustangs leading 4-0.
In the sixth inning, Hinojosa hit her second home run of the series to put the first run on the board for the Saints. The Saints scored again in the seventh after Ashley Perez hit a single to right field. She drove in Ramirez, and the game ended with the Mustangs winning 4-2.
Arocha suffered the loss for the Saints after she allowed all four runs on five hits, while striking out three. Krystal Zamora (FR/Carrizo Springs, Texas) pitched two innings and allowed two hits and struck out one.
Hinojosa and Ashley Perez each had two hits. Rodriguez, Larissa Gutierrez (FR/San Antonio, Texas), Ramirez and Julie Ramos (SR/Los Fresnos, Texas) had one hit. Mustangs' winning pitcher Fraher allowed eight hits while striking out eight.
The close-to four-hour game, the final in the series, started with Stone reaching base on a single. Megan Perez (JR/Kerrville, Texas) got to first on an error from Johnson, and Stone was sent home to give the Saints the 1-0 lead.
The Saints scored two more runs in the third inning. Stone once again reached base, and Megan Perez hit to the shortstop. A double from Hinojosa drove both of them in to take the Saints to 3-0.
BrittanyMartinez scored for the Mustangs in the fifth inning to take the game to 3-1. Fraher came back in the top of the seventh to hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 3-3.
After the Saints were unable to score to close out regulation, the coaches agreed to go to 13 innings instead of the International Tie Breaker (ITB) rule.
The Saints came close to scoring in the 10th inning after Ashley Perez, Jessele Perez (SO/Eagle Pass, Texas) and Hinojosa hit to reach base, but a grounder from Ramirez ended the inning with no runs for the Saints.
The game remained at 3-3 through the 13th inning. At the top of the inning, Natalie Ortiz was sent to second base on the ITB rule. A double from Mariah Faifer drove Ortiz and Martinez in and the Mustangs took the 5-3 lead. The Saints closed out the inning with no hits but leaving two on base.
Losing pitcher Arocha allowed two hits and two runs while striking out three and walking three. Starting pitcher Ramirez allowed seven hits and three runs while striking out two and walking three.
The Saints will play their next games in Sherman, Texas, in a round robin hosted by Austin College. On April 4, the Saints will play Austin College at 3 p.m. and Hillsdale College at 7 p.m. On April 5, the Saints will play Hillsdale College at noon and Austin College at 2 p.m.