AUSTIN — A grand slam and a pair of rallies fueled the TWU softball team to two wins at the St. Edward’s Round Robin on Friday. The Pioneers opened the day with a 10-0 run-rule win over Chadron State before defeating Regis 6-4.
In the first game, TWU scored a run in the top of the first and added two in the third. The Pioneers exploded in the fourth, sending 11 batters to the plate while scoring seven runs. Freshman Alyssa Galaz hit a grand slam in the inning and junior Samantha Alegria hit a two-run shot.
Senior Brandie Lander tossed a complete game for the sixth win. She allowed two hits and struck out four batters.
Alegria, Galaz, Bailey Vrazel and Kendra Sancet each picked up two hits. Galaz finished with five RBIs.
In the second game, Regis jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Pioneers answered in the top of the fourth. The Rangers added a run in the fifth to go on top 4-3. TWU again answered in the sixth to take a 5-4 lead and added an insurance run in the seventh.
Senior Katie Hines started in the circle before Lander relived her in the fifth. Hines allowed three runs on three hits, while Lander allowed one run and picked up her second win of the day.
Sancet hit her team-leading sixth home run in the seventh.
“Brandie and Katie pitched great in both games,” TWU coach Genny Stidham said. “Alyssa was in a zone in the first game with a double and a grand slam. Sam had a big home run to help us close out the game in five innings.
“In the second game, it took us a little while to get going on offense. Our bottom of the order — Katy [Stephens], Sam and Tealey [Farquhar] — stepped up with big hits.”
Today, TWU will face Texas A&M International at 1:30 p.m. in tournament action.
UNT starts 2-0 in tourney
North Texas beat Nicholls State 8-4 and Southern 9-0 in the Lovelace Invitational behind the pitching efforts of Madison Thompson and Lauren Poole.
“Anytime you can put two wins in the win column, you’ll take it,” coach Tracey Kee said following her first home wins with the Mean Green. “Credit to our pitching staff, because that’s how we want to roll this year.”
With the game tied at 4 through three innings against the Colonels, Kee put Madison Thompson in the circle. She allowed two hits and no earned runs through the final four innings.
Thompson received run support in the bottom of the fourth when Dani Hoff hit a three-run double.
Against Southern, the Mean Green won in five innings via the run rule behind the work of senior lefty Lauren Poole.
“I was pleased with Lauren,” Kee said. “I just want her to attack hitters and attack the strike zone, and that was a good effort on her part.”
Poole tied her career high with six strikeouts and allowed one hit.
UNT freshman Mallory Land got her first start in the field at third base, while Shelbie Smith started her first game at catcher.
Today, North Texas (4-3) will play Northern Iowa at 12:30 p.m. Seeding following that game will determine whether the Mean Green plays again at 3 or 5:30 p.m.
Illinois-Chicago tops TWU
CHICAGO — TWU was edged by Illinois-Chicago, 193.175-193.100, in a dual meet.
In the first rotation on uneven bars, the Pioneers scored a 48.625 led by senior Brittainy Johnson. She won the event title with a 9.850 while senior Bethany Larimer tied for third with a 9.800. Senior Victoria Cochefski finished with a season-high 9.750.
On vault in the second rotation, TWU posted a 48.175. Larimer led the team with a 9.800 and placed third. Johnson finished with 9.675 while freshman Katie Simpson scored a 9.625.
Three gymnasts posted 9.750 or better on floor exercise in the third rotation, led by senior Amy Winczura. She finished with 9.775 and placed second while senior Brittany Montalbano and junior Stephanie Repp scored 9.750 and tied for third.
In the final rotation on balance beam, the Pioneers counted a fall and finished with a 47.850. Junior Spencer Jones returned to the lineup after missing a few meets and won the title with a 9.850. Johnson placed second with a 9.825 and Larimer scored 9.725.
“We started strong on bars and kept our momentum going through vault and floor,” TWU coach Lisa Bowerman said. “We were in position to get the win and to break a 194 for the second time this season. Unfortunately, a tough beam performance took both of those opportunities away. The good news is we have another opportunity to compete again on Sunday and to use our mistakes as motivation. I fully expect we will bounce back with our best performance of the season at Northern Illinois.”
The Pioneers now head to DeKalb, Ill., to compete in a triangular with Northern Illinois with Iowa State at 1 p.m. Sunday.