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Softball: Pioneers cap tourney with victory

SAN ANTONIO — TWU wrapped up St. Mary’s Division II College Classic by knocking off the host Rattlers 5-2 on Monday.

The Pioneers finished the season-opening tournament with a 3-2 record.

TWU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on three hits and an error. The Pioneers led off with back-to-back singles by Bailey Vrazel and Amanda Ruiz. Katie Hines followed with a walk to load the bases before Kendra Sancet doubled down the right field line to drive home two runs. TWU scored the third run on a fielding error by the shortstop with two outs.

In the third, St. Mary’s scored an unearned run on a leadoff double and a fielding error at second base.

The Pioneers added two runs in the sixth to make it 5-1. Ruiz and Hines recorded RBI singles with two outs.

St. Mary’s threatened in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with one out. The Rattlers scored a run on a single to left, but TWU turned a 9-4-6 double play to the end the game.

Sancet finished with three hits and two RBIs, while Ruiz and Sarah Wittenburg each recorded two hits.

Brandie Lander tossed her third complete game of the season and improved to 3-0. She allowed one earned run on six hits while striking out five.

“Brandie pitched outstanding and was lights-out all weekend,” TWU coach Genny Stidham said. “The fields are big and have lots of room in the outfield. She kept hitters off balance and did not allow a lot of hits. Offensively, Kendra had a good weekend. Five of her seven hits this weekend are extra-base hits. We still have room for improvement, but overall it was a good weekend.”

Late Sunday night, TWU lost 10-5 to Texas A&M International in eight innings. Hines hit a three-run home run and Sancet followed with a solo shot to tie the game at 4 in the first. The Dustdevils went back on top in the eighth with five runs on three hits and a walk.

The Pioneers return to action Friday when they travel to Las Vegas to play in the Desert Stinger Tournament. The Pioneers will face Regis (1:30 p.m.) and Fort Lewis (4 p.m.) on Friday, Texas-Permian Basin and Colorado School of Mines on Saturday and Adams State on Sunday.

“This is one of the biggest tournaments in the country, with 32 teams,” Stidham said. “All five of our opponents are in our region. We have a few things to work on in practice this week, and we will be ready to play on Friday.”