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Softball: Pioneers post 40th victory

SAN ANTONIO — Texas Woman’s University used a seven-run sixth inning to defeat Incarnate Word 12-2 in six innings Saturday. The Pioneers closed out their regular-season road schedule with a three-game sweep.

Tenth-ranked TWU (40-11, 18-5 Lone Star) secured its first 40-win season since 2004 and fourth overall.

After going hitless through the first two innings, TWU got a leadoff single from sophomore Sarah Wittenburg in the third. Haley Colwell hit her sixth home run to bring home pinch runner Megan Schoenherr and put TWU on top 2-0. The Pioneers made it 3-0 when Amanda Ruiz singled with two outs, stole second and scored on senior Lizzy Kelly’s double.

TWU scored two more runs in the fourth. With runners on second and third with one out, freshman Ashley Maddox brought home pinch runner Megan Leff from third with a sacrifice bunt. Bailey Vrazel singled with two outs to drive in Kendra Sancet from third.

Incarnate Word scored in the bottom of the fourth on Victoria Silva’s two-run homer.

The Pioneers broke the game open with seven runs in the sixth. TWU sent 10 batters to the plate, highlighted by back-to-back home runs by junior Katie Hines and senior Jordan Readicker. Hines hit her third career grand slam and 23rd long ball of the season.

Senior Larisa Garcia started in the circle and tossed 5 1/3 innings for her 12th win. She struck out eight batters while allowing one walk. Junior Brandie Lander came in for the final two batters and struck out both to seal the win.

“Larisa pitched great, and she really stepped up this weekend with two wins,” TWU coach Richie Bruister said. “Our speed was key today. We got a lot of infield hits and then had the big hits with runners on base. I am proud of all the girls for winning 40 games. They played great softball this weekend.”

The 40-win season is the first for Bruister in his coaching career. He guided three teams to 39 wins prior to this season.

The Pioneers will return home to host Tarleton State for a single game at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Pioneer Field.