TYLER -- The game went according to plan. It was the celebration
that was cut short.
The Texas-Tyler Patriots advanced to the winners' bracket
semifinal round with a 5-2 win over Louisiana College at the Tyler Regional of
the NCAA Division III Softball Tournament.
Winning pitcher Heather Abshire induced Louisiana College
shortstop Daniele Wilson to pop out to third to end the game right as heavy
rains and lightning forced a quick exit of the complex.
The Patriots' serendipitous timing only added to their
storyline of clutch and efficient play in their opening game of the tournament.
Abshire pitched a complete game and struck out four batters to pick up the win.
Reigning ASC Player of the Year Katelyn Thomason put the
Patriots ahead for good in the fifth inning with a solo home run deep over the
The Patriots (37-7) added two insurance runs in the
bottom of the sixth inning when Taylor Sells and Ashlee Johnson knocked
back-to-back RBI singles that scored Kellen Gomez and Jessica Ross.
UT Tyler's No. 9 hitter Carli Wheeler put the Patriots
ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the second inning with a two-RBI single that scored
Taylor Petrick and Ashley Endsley.
The Wildcats (28-15) got RBIs from Daniele Wilson and
Stephanie Jaeger. Rudi Aycock absorbed the loss for Louisiana College after
ceding five runs over six innings.
The loss eliminated the Wildcats (28-15) from the
tournament. The Patriots faced the Wildcats for the third consecutive time
during the 2012 postseason, all UT Tyler victories.
The Patriots face Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the third
game of the day Saturday. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.