UT Tyler rolls over Colorado Christian 12-1 in NCAA South Central Regional

TYLER, TEXAS  UT Tyler advanced to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional finals with a convincing 12-1 run-rule victory over Colorado Christian on Friday afternoon.

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The Patriot offense hit a pair of homers and junior Christin Haygood was lights out in the circle once again to send UT Tyler to Saturday’s final in dominant fashion. No. 2 seeded UT Tyler will meet no. 6 seeded Colorado Christian in game six of the tournament on Saturday at 1 p.m. with the if-necessary game seven to follow should Colorado Mesa win.

The winner will advance to meet the winner of the other side of the South Central Regional bracket in the NCAA Division II South Central Super Regionals. That Super Regional will be a best-of-three series for the right to represent the South Central Region at the 2024 NCAA Division II World Series.

The Patriots provided their most eye-opening performance of the postseason thus far on Friday in pursuit of their third straight South Central Region crown, putting up five runs in the top of the second inning and seven runs in the top of the fifth inning to enact the five-inning run-rule of the Cougars. It was all Patriots from start-to-finish, as UT Tyler put at least two runners on in all but one trip to the plate, totaling nine hits and 11 free bases with eight walks and three hit by pitches.
Junior Sam Schott hit a towering homer to left to put the first three runs on the board in the second inning after the Patriots failed to push a run across despite loading the bases in the top of the first. A double play put an end to the home half of the first inning for Colorado Christian after the Cougars put their first two batters aboard with a single and walk.
Haygood worked out of the jam with a line out and then a double play in consecutive at bats before Schott drove Cassidi Mullen and Michelle Arias home with her three-run blast for the game’s first runs.
Freshman Makayla Garcia made it 5-0 with a two-out, two-RBI single later in the frame to break open an early lead for the Patriots.
Both offenses stranded a pair of runners in the third inning after Haygood retired the Cougars in order in the bottom of the second.
Colorado Christian plated their lone run of the game on an error by the Patriots in the home half of the fourth. Haygood worked her way out of another jam to minimize the damage, stranding her fourth and fifth runners on in the ball game.
Junior Clarissa Zapata led off what would be a rally of runs for the Patriots in the top of the fifth with a solo homer to regain a five-run advantage for UT Tyler. A fielding mistake of their own for Colorado Christian pushed the seventh Patriot run across on an errant throw by the Cougar shortstop allowed Mullen to score from second.
Junior Nicole Price drove in Arias a batter later, who reached on that error, and then scored alongside Schott on a triple to right center from junior JT Smith. That extended the UT Tyler lead to 10-1 before an RBI single from catcher Audrey Escamilla and a wild pitch plated the eleventh and twelfth runs of the game for UT Tyler.
Haygood ended the game in the fifth with three consecutive outs and has yet to concede an earned run in her 6.2 innings in the South Central Regional. The Huffman, Texas moved to 16-1 on the year with the complete game victory, allowing just four hits and a pair of walks.
Price and Garcia both notched two hits on the day. Price went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI and Garcia 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Schott registered three RBI on her homer and scored twice, while Smith went 1-for-3 with two RBI and 2 runs scored.
UT Tyler will have two chances for one win that would send the Patriots back to the South Central Super Regionals beginning at 1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.

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