FARMERS BRANCH, Texas-- The No. 9 UT Tyler softball team needed only one run to claim the 2012 American Southwest Conference Championship over Louisiana College, winning 1-0 on Saturday afternoon at Oran Good Park.
The win guarantees UT Tyler a spot in the 2012 NCAA Softball Championships which begin in two weeks.
Heather Abshire picked up her second win of the tournament, and was named tournament MVP.
The ASC championship is just the second in school history for the Patriots, and 2012 was the first season that UT Tyler won the ASC East Division as well as the overall ASC championship.
The game was a nail-biter throughout, with both teams relying on pitching and defense to carry them through.
UT Tyler scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Junior Ashley Endsley started the inning with a single to left-center field. After Rachel Howell struck out, Taylor Petrick singled to move runners to first and third with only one out.
After a stolen base by pinch-runner Jessica Ross put runners at second and third, senior Ashlee Johnson put a ball in play to second base, allowing the only run to score of the game.
Abshire was stellar on the day, facing 28 batters, giving up just five hits and no earned runs.
Johnson finished the day 0 for 2, but registered her second game winning RBI of the tournament, garnering All-Tournament honors. Joining Johnson on the All-Tournament team were senior Katelyn Thomason, junior Ashley Endsley and Abshire.
The Patriots will now wait and see who will join them at the 2012 NCAA Softball Regionals at UT Tyler Ballpark, May 10-12.