UT Tyler beats Oklahoma Christian 6-3 in Game One of the softball Super Regionals

TYLER, TEXAS UT Tyler took game one of the 2024 NCAA Division II South Central Super Regional by a 6-3 final on Tuesday afternoon over Oklahoma Christian.
The Patriots plated six unearned runs in the ballgame, the majority of which came on a pair of key defensive mistakes by the Eagles. UT Tyler will need to win just one of the possible two games tomorrow afternoon to advance to a third straight NCAA Division II World Series in the program’s first three years of postseason eligibility at the Division II level.
UT Tyler loaded the bases in the bottom of the first inning on a single by Nicole Price and ensuing walks from Courtney Plocheck and JT Smith. Oklahoma Christian seemingly had the third out of the inning on a good throw home to attempt to get the runner trying for home after an Audrey Escamilla pop-up to left field, but the well-thrown ball home was misplayed by the Oklahoma Christian catcher, allowing two UT Tyler runs to score on what would have been the third out of the inning.
Freshman Makayla Garcia maximized the damage for the Patriots in the ensuing at bat, scoring Smith from third after beating out a grounder to second for the RBI infield single.
Junior Christin Haygood worked through the first two innings in the circle without a threat and then stranded a pair of runners in the top of the third. UT Tyler continued to put runners on base in their second and third trips to the plate, but couldn’t string together hits to extend what remained a 3-0 advantage.
Oklahoma Christian worked themselves back into the ball game in the top of the fifth with a solo homer and an RBI groundout to make it 3-2. Haygood gave way to Genesis Armendariz with one out in that fifth inning and got out of the inning with the Patriots still ahead by a run despite inheriting runners on second and third with just one out.
The Patriots took advantage of a second critical mistake by Oklahoma Christian in the home half of the fifth following the Eagle rally. A leadoff walk and a single from Cassidi Mullen put runners on second and third with two outs on the board, but a dropped fly ball in deep left center after a pair of Eagle fielders collided allowed both runs to score on what would have been the third out of the inning.
UT Tyler followed that mistake up with another infield single that drove in a run to nearly mirror what they did in the bottom of the first inning on the first Oklahoma Christian mistake of the game. That trio of runs made it 6-2 in favor of the Patriots.
Both teams failed to capitalize on a pair of hits for each offense in the sixth before Oklahoma Christian threatened for the final time in the top of the seventh. The Eagles walked in a run after a walk and a pair of singles sandwiched around a pair of strikeouts to make it 6-3, but junior Kaylee Davis came on in relief of Genesis Armendariz and popped up the final out of the day with the bases full of Eagles.
Davis was credited with her first save of the year while Haygood moved to 17-1 on the year with the victory. Haygood gave up four hits and a pair of earned runs.
Schott and Mullen both finished the day with a pair of hits for a Patriot offense that registered eight hits, all of which were singles. Schott and Garcia managed the two RBI on the day for UT Tyler.
Game two of the NCAA DII South Central Super Regional between the two clubs is slated for a 12 p.m. first pitch tomorrow afternoon. The if-necessary game three should the Eagles win game two will get started approximately 30 minutes following game two.

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