2016 NCAA Division III National Champions
RECAP: @Patriot_sb leaves LeTourneau with dominant sweep
#1 UT Tyler (12-0)
LeTourneau (3-8)
2/25/2017 | LeTourneau Universit | Attendance: 323
UT Tyler0302139131
Win: Whitney Romero (5-0) 6.030008
Loss: Ashley Burdine (1-4) 5.2139710
Kaylee Prather (UTTSB) 503000
Andrea Gonzales (UTTSB) 313200
Ashlin Roach (LETUSB) 301000
Whitney Judd (LETUSB) 201000
Kelsi Coleman (LETUSB) 201000

Saturday, February 25, 2017
by Wes Bloomquist || wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

LONGVIEW – Bianca Van Vlerah and Courtney Fisher each drove in four runs and Kaylee Prather had seven hits to lead the No. 1-ranked UT Tyler softball team to an American Southwest Conference doubleheader sweep with 9-0 and 13-2 run-shortened wins over LeTourneau on Saturday at the Joyce Family Athletic Village.

The Patriots (13-0, 6-0 ASC) swept the three-game series and are undefeated after four weeks of play and coming into a week where they will host Mary Hardin-Baylor at Suddenlink Field. UT Tyler dominated the YellowJackets (3-9, 1-8 ASC) on Saturday with a 33-6 hit advantage and throughout the series where they outscored them 31-2. For the season, the Patriots have outscored their opponents by a 122-13 margin and are now 8-0 on the road.

UT Tyler freshman Whitney Romero improved to 5-0 on the season with the win in the first game of the day on Saturday by striking out eight and allowing only three hits in a six-inning game. While she was dominating in the circle, Prather and Andrea Gonzales put together three-hit games and Fisher hit her first career home run and had four RBI. A junior transfer from Galveston College, Fisher drove in her first run of the game in the second inning with an opposite-field RBI single to right field and then smashed a three-run home run to left-center field in the sixth inning to give the Patriots their fourth straight 9-0 winning margin. Gonzales drove in two runs with a fourth inning double and also had a one-out double in the sixth. The Patriots finished the game with a 13-3 hit advantage in the game with Mel Hinojosa, Van Vlerah and Natalie Romeo having one hit each. Prather was 3-for-5 from the leadoff spot.

Prather would fly out to short stop to start the second game, but would finish the game 4-for-5 with three RBI. It was the first four-hit game of her season and the second for the Patriots after Cheyenne Thompson had one to begin the season. Prather has started the season with a 13-game hitting streak after tripling to left field to start the third inning and then producing a run with a double in the fourth. A two-run double in the fifth gave the Patriots an 8-0 lead and then she singled in the sixth to complete the four-hit game.

Gonzales, Fisher and Hinojosa each had three hits in the game with Van Vlerah, Thompson and KK Stevens having two each. Hinojosa was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI, while Van Vlerah drove in three on two hits. The Patriots had a season-high 20 hits in the win while Alaina Kissinger improved to 8-0 after striking out four and allowing only three hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. Miranda Leal would get the final two outs of the game on ground outs as the Patriots took the 13-2 win in six innings and with a 20-3 hit margin against the YellowJackets.

UT Tyler and Mary Hardin-Baylor will open their three-game ASC set at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 3 and then play a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 4. The Patriots will then go on the road for a mid-week conference test against East Texas Baptist on Tuesday, March 7 and Wednesday, March 8 in Marshall.