ETBU softball comes up just short in conference championship - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

ETBU softball comes up just short in conference championship

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FROM ETBU SPORTS INFORMATION:

TYLER, Texas – A very emotional American Southwest Conference tournament finished in extra innings as two of the top teams in NCAA Division III battled it out as #8 East Texas Baptist University fell, 5-4, to #2 Texas-Tyler (41-4) in game two. ETBU forced the extra game for the championship winning the first elimination game, 4-2, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh inning in the comeback win. Kaitlyn Hollingshead, Jayme Perez, and Kayla Garcia were all named to the ASC All-Tournament team.

Championship Game

UTT 5, ETBU 4

It took extra innings for #2 Texas-Tyler coming from behind to swipe the championship away from ETBU, 5-4, as they scored four runs in the last two innings. Texas-Tyler scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at four and then had the winning run come in in the top of the eighth. ETBU was in position to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs as runners were on first and second base when Lacey Lindsey had a questionable hit that went down the right field line that was called foul that would have brought in the tying run. Two pitches later the game ended on a lineout to the shortstop as ETBU's hopes of a championship ended.

Kayla Garcia led the team with three hits going 3-of-4 while Lacy Liles had two hits. Jayme Perez swatted her fifth home run of the tournament, 10th of the year, for one RBI. Katy Hill and Jessica Bowden both added a RBI. Tawny Hank received the loss pitching the final 1.2 innings recording one strikeout. Kelly Jo McLendon started the game going 6.1 innings for the no decision with three strikeouts.

Texas-Tyler scored first in the top of the first inning for the 1-0 lead but in the bottom of the third inning Perez took a first-pitch swing that towered the ball over the left field fence to tie the game up at one. After a scoreless fourth inning, a Texas-Tyler error allowed Alyssa Romero to score from second base as ETBU took a 2-1 lead. ETBU followed with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning as Hill doubled in Garcia and Bowden followed with a bunt single scoring Hill.

In the top of the seventh, Texas-Tyler responded with three runs to tie the game at four as ETBU had a final chance to end the game. In the bottom of the seventh, ETBU had the bases loaded and one out but could not find the game winning hit as it went into extra innings. It was the eighth inning that was the difference for both teams in the game as Texas-Tyler scored the winning run in the top of the inning.

Game 1

ETBU 4, Texas-Tyler 2

Katy Hill and Jessica Bowden had back-to-back bunts in the top of the seventh inning to move East Texas Baptist University ahead for the win, 4-2, over #2 Texas-Tyler forcing a final game in the American Southwest Conference. The win is ETBU's 39th on the year as Kelly Jo McLendon gets the win.

With one out Hill had a dribbling bunt to second base that allowed Jessica Vasquez to score from second base tying the game at two and the Bowden followed with a sacrifice bunt that put ETBU ahead for good. Maranda Westbrook came charging in from third base and gave UTT's Kelsie Batten no time to throw home as she threw out Bowden at first. Jayme Perez added an insurance run as she singled in Hill to make it 4-2.

McLendon hit the first batter in the bottom of the seventh but then followed with two groundouts and a pop out to end the game and force the final game in the series.

The win ends a six-game losing streak to Texas-Tyler dating back to last year's regional tournament.

Perez, Kaitlyn Hollingshead, Lacy Liles, Kayla Garcia, Maranda Westbrook, and Katy Hill all had one hit. Perez, Westbrook, Hill, and Bowden recorded the RBI. McLendon earned the win with three strikeouts.

ETBU took the 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Westbrook doubled to left field bringing in Garcia. Texas-Tyler tied the game at one in the bottom of third and took the lead, 2-1, in the bottom of the sixth. ETBU then rallied for three runs in the seventh forcing the final game, 4-2.

ETBU is now 39-7 on the year and will wait to see where they will be placed in the NCAA Tournament. They were #2 in the regional ranking coming into the ASC Tournament and most likely will receive a bid. The selection show is at 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning.

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