Story courtesy of UT-Tyler Sports Information Office
TYLER, Texas -- The Athenas of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning Saturday and then fended off a late rally by UT Tyler to claim a 3-1 win over the Patriots at the Tyler Regional of the NCAA Division III Softball Tournament.
Freshman pitcher Hayley Schultz (pictured) pitched her second complete game in as many days to lead the Athenas to victory, scattering five hits and striking out six batters.
The host Patriots could do little against Schultz over the first six innings, collecting only two base hits during that span. Schultz retired 11 batters in a row between the third and seventh innings.
Batting as the visitors in the game, the Patriots attempted to claw their way back into the game in the top of the seventh inning when Heather Abshire and Ashley Endsley knocked back-to-back one-out singles. Endsley moved pinch-runner Kellen Gomez over to third and then took second on the throw after reaching base.
Trailing 3-0 with two on and one out in front of a packed stadium, Rachel Howell came to the plate looking to pull the Patriots back into the contest. Howell fouled off seven pitches during a 13-pitch at bat, including several that were hit deep, before Schultz got her to strike out swinging on a rise ball.
With two outs, UT Tyler pinch hitter Brittney Batten knocked an RBI single up the middle to score Gomez, cutting the CMS lead to 3-1. But before the Patriots could do further damage, Schultz, who threw 110 pitches in the game, ended the contest when she struck out Carli Wheeler swinging.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Harmony Palmer doubled home Megan Morris with one out in the inning. With two outs in the inning, the Athenas' Emily Lopez drew a four-pitch walk from Katelyn Thomason and then stole second base; Palmer and Lopez both crossed the plate moments later when Rebecca King knocked a 2-RBI single.
Thomason absorbed the loss for the Patriots, giving up three runs over three innings and striking out three batters. Abshire came into the circle in relief and pitched three innings of no-hit softball while striking out one batter.
The Patriots face Birmingham-Southern in an elimination game Sunday at 4 p.m. CMS faces Pacific Lutheran in a winner's bracket game Sunday at 1:30 p.m.