SAN ANGELO — Playing in their second regional tournament in three years, the TWU Pioneers opened the NCAA South Central Regional with a 4-3 victory in eight innings over No. 20 Missouri Western State.
It was the Pioneers’ first first-game victory in the double-elimination tournament. The game was suspended for 30 minutes in the fifth inning due to lightning.
Larisa Garcia earned her 13th win of the season, pitching a complete game and allowing two earned runs.
“I struggled early in the game with a lot of walks, but my defense got me out of a lot of jams,” Garcia said. “The lightning delay actually helped me. I was able to relax and came back out strong.”
Katie Hines led the Pioneers with two RBIs and Bailey Vrazel was 2-for-5 with one RBI.
After the Griffons scored on a double steal in the first inning, the Pioneers tied the game at 1 as Vrazel drove in Sarah Wittenburg with a single up the middle.
Hines put the Pioneers ahead 3-1 in the fifth inning with a two-run home run to right field, her ninth of the season.
Western climbed to within 3-2 with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning and tied it at 3 in the sixth.
After a scoreless seventh inning, Jordan Readicker led off the top of the eighth with a double down the right field line. Wittenburg reached on a sacrifice bunt, which allowed Readicker to score on an error.
The Pioneers (37-15) will face the winner between top-seeded Angelo State and No. 8 seed St. Edward’s at 2 p.m. today.
TWU 4, Missouri Western St. 3
TWU 001 020 01 — 4 7 1
MWS 100 011 00 — 3 8 2
WP — Larisa Garcia (13-7). LP — Jackie Bishop (24-5). 2B — T:
Jordan Readicker. M: Kendall Sorensen,
Leah Steele, Tiffany Gillaspy. 3B — T: Addison Staley. HR — T: Katie Hines.