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Softball: TWU splits to open Stidham era

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From news reports

SAN ANTONIO — A new era of TWU softball began Saturday with Genny Stidham picking up her first win as head coach of the Pioneers. TWU opened its season with a 9-1 run-rule victory against Texas-Permian on the first day of St. Mary’s Division II College Classic. St. Mary’s then defeated the Pioneers 4-2.

UTPB struck first with an RBI triple in the top of the first inning. TWU tied the game in the bottom of the first, took the lead in the fourth with four runs and ended the game with three runs in the fifth.

Senior Brandie Lander picked up the win by allowing one earned run and three hits. She allowed the run and two hits in the first, gave up one hit in the second and held the Falcons hitless the rest of the way. She struck out four in five innings of work.

Kendra Sancet led the Pioneers with a three-hit, two-RBI performance. She tied the game with an RBI double and knocked in the team’s fifth run of the fourth with another double.

Amanda Ruiz and freshman Katy Stephens each posted two hits for TWU. Ruiz went 2-for-4 with one RBI, while Stephens went 2-for-3 with one run scored. Bailey Vrazel went 1-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Katie Hines brought home two runners with a double in the fourth.

In the second game, St. Mary’s took an early lead. The Pioneers could not catch up with single runs in the fourth and seventh innings. The Pioneers were outhit 5-4 and left eight runners on base.

Hines took the loss. She gave up three runs and three hits in 3 2/3 innings. She walked three and struck out three. Lander pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief, allowing one run and two hits.

With TWU down 3-0, Stephens hit an RBI triple in the fourth. After St. Mary’s hit a solo home run in the fifth, Vrazel scored in the seventh on an error after reaching base on an error.

The Pioneers left runners stranded in five of the seven innings.

TWU continues Classic action today when it faces St. Edward’s at 2 p.m. and Texas A&M International at 4 p.m.