2016 NCAA Division III National Champions
RECAP: @Patriot_sb sweeps HSU in Abilene
UT Tyler (4-0, 2-0 ASC)
Hardin-Simmons (1-3, 0-2 ASC)
2/11/2017 | Abilene, Texas | Attendance: 130
UT Tyler00002046140
Win: Whitney Romero (2-0) 5.130017
Loss: Allen (0-2) 6.0136523
Kaylee Prather (UTTSB) 312110
Bianca Van Vlerah (UTTSB) 312110
Cheyenne Thompson (UTTSB) 412000
KK Stevens (UTTSB) 412100
Kenyon (HSU) 201000
Williams (HSU) 201010
Ledkins (HSU) 301000
Brown (HSU) 201000

Saturday, February 11, 2017
by Nathan Wright

The No. 1 UT Tyler softball team completed a three-game sweep of Hardin-Simmons on Saturday with 6-0 and 13-5 victories in Abilene.

The Patriots improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the American Southwest Conference with the victories.

In Game 1 of the doubleheader, neither team scored until the top of the fifth inning when the Patriots broke through. Kaylee Prather doubled home Natalie Romeo to give UT Tyler a 1-0 lead and then Prather scored on a groundout by Bianca Van Vlerah to make it 2-0.

The Patriots added to their lead in the top of the seventh. Andrea Gonzales doubled home Cheyenne Thompson and Van Vlerah to put UT Tyler ahead 4-0. KK Stevens doubled home Courtney Meier to make it 5-0 and then Stevens scored on a groundout by Abby Hall for the final 6-0 score.

Whitney Romero started in the circle for UT Tyler and earned her second win of the season. Romero allowed three hits and struck out seven in five and one-third innings. She was relieved by Alaina Kissinger in the sixth and Kissinger allowed a hit and struck out two in the final inning and two-thirds.

Prather, Van Vlerah, Thompson and Stevens each had two hits for the Patriots, who outhit the Cowgirls 14-4. Gonzales led UT Tyler with two RBIs.

In Game 2, the Patriots got the scoring started much earlier, plating two runs in the top of the first. Gonzales singled home Prather and Stevens scored on a sacrifice fly.

UT Tyler added three more in the top of the third. Gonzales hit a sacrifice fly to score Van Vlerah and Stevens hit her first home run of the season, a two-run shot, to make it 5-0.

The Patriots increased their lead even more in the top of the fourth. Lexi Ackroyd scored on a triple by Prather, who scored on a sacrifice fly by Van Vlerah to give UT Tyler a 7-0 lead.

UT Tyler added five runs in the top of the sixth. Thompson singled home Prather, Stevens singled home Thompson and Van Vlerah, Mel Hinojosa doubled home Kailey Henderson, Kursten Jaime singled home Meier and Romeo singled home Hinojosa.

Hardin-Simmons scored five times off of UT Tyler relievers in the bottom of the sixth, but when Romero entered and retired the final two batters, the Patriots still led by enough to force an early end to the game.

Kissinger started for the Patriots and went five innings. She allowed no runs on two hits while striking out four to improve to 3-0.

Prather and Thompson each had three hits for UT Tyler. Stevens drove in a team-high five runs on two hits.

The Patriots will be back home next weekend when they host Belhaven. The first game of the series is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday with the final two games beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday.