2016 NCAA Division III National Champions
SCHEDULE CHANGE: @Patriot_sb, Comets to play on Saturday/Sunday
#16 UT Dallas (20-6)
#2 UT Tyler (23-2)
3/25/2017 | Tyler, Tx | Attendance: 210
UT Dallas0000000072
UT Tyler010015X7100
Win: Alaina Kissinger (13-0) 7.070002
Loss: Allie Stephens (6-3) 6.0107615
Stefanie Polderman (UTD) 303000
Lexi Ackroyd (UTTSB) 323000

Thursday, March 23, 2017
by Wes Bloomquist || wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – The No. 2-ranked UT Tyler softball team hosts No. 16 UT Dallas on Saturday and Sunday in a three-game American Southwest Conference series at Suddenlink Field. Due to weather forecasts, the series will start with a 3 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday before a 1 p.m. finale on Sunday. 

The Patriots (22-2, 13-2 ASC) come into the weekend second in the conference standings, while UTD (20-5, 12-3 ASC) is third after taking two of three from No. 6 East Texas Baptist last weekend. UT Tyler is 41-5 all-time against UTD with its last loss coming on April 11, 2006. The Patriots are coming off a three-game sweep of Howard Payne where they outscored the Yellow Jackets by a 35-0 margin and enter the series against UTD with a 12-1 home record. UT Tyler coach Mike Reed has 596 wins in his career coming into the series.

UT Tyler senior Kaylee Prather leads the nation with 46 hits and is tops the conference with a .541 batting average and a .594 on-base percentage. Cheyenne Thompson is third in the nation with 33 RBI and 11 doubles and is fourth with 39 hits to start her sophomore season, while KK Stevens leads the conference and is fourth in the nation with seven home runs and is seventh nationally with 30 RBI. The Patriots leads the nation with a .418 team batting average and top the conference with a .981 fielding percentage, a .488 on-base percentage, 8.96 runs per game, a .621 slugging percentage and a .917-win percentage. The team’s slugging percentage leads the nation and the team is in the top-10 of six categories.

Prather, a senior from Elysian Fields who has 16 multi-hit performances, comes into the weekend with seven doubles, three triples a home run and 35 singles. In her second season after transferring in as a junior, Prather already has 117 hits in only 78 career games for UT Tyler. Prather is currently second in program history with 54 stolen bases which is six back of matching Lauren Robenalt who had 60 from 2011-14. Thompson, a sophomore from Mexia, is hitting .481 on the season with six home runs and a triple to go along with her 11 doubles. She is a .443 career hitter for the Patriots with eight home runs and 56 RBI and is on a team-best 10 game hitting streak. She has nine multi-RBI games this season, including a season-best five RBI against Belhaven. She is 6-for-6 in her last six at-bats.

Stevens has 25 home runs, 181 total hits and 138 RBI in her career. A senior from Plano, Stevens was named the ASC Hitter of the Week last Monday and is hitting .426 this season. Her average is the best in her career and she is one home run from matching her junior and sophomore seasons where she had eight. She has played in 180 game sin her career with the Patriots and is currently fifth in program history in doubles (42) and home runs and leads the program with 72 walks. Andrea Gonzales and Mel Hinojosa have eight doubles each which is tied for second in the ASC with Stevens, while Bianca Van Vlerah and Lexi Ackroyd have 19 RBI each.

Courtney Fisher is hitting .500 with six doubles, a home run and 20 singles this season as the team’s designated player, while Gonzales is hitting .418 with eight doubles and 20 singles. Fisher is in her first season with the Patriots after transferring from Galveston College, while Gonzales transferred in from McLennan College and has stared all 24 games at first base. Hinojosa is at .412 with her eight doubles and one homer, while Ackroyd is hitting .393 with seven doubles, a triple and 14 singles. A senior from Frisco, Ackroyd is a .354 career hitter with 118 hits and 90 RBI as a Patriot.  

Alaina Kissinger (12-0) picked up two more wins last weekend in the sweep of Howard Payne and is now an incredible 56-2 in her career. A senior from Telephone, Kissinger has record 49 strikeouts this season and has 337 in her career. He 1.03 career ERA and .171 opponent batting average leads the program all-time. Whitney Romero (8-1) has recorded six shutouts to start her freshman season and had 45 strikeouts through 52 2/3 innings. A right-hander from Louisiana, Romero has made nine starts this season and leads the team with a 0.78 ERA. Miranda Leal (2-1) earned a series clinching win over ETBU two weeks ago and has seven strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings in her freshman season.

UT Tyler will stay at home after this weekend to host Birmingham Southern at noon on Wednesday, March 29 to end a nine-game home stand. The Patriots are currently 5-0 on that home stand.

Louisiana College 14-1 0.933 20-2 0.909 W16
UT Tyler 13-2 0.867 22-2 0.917 W6
UT Dallas 12-3 0.800 20-5 0.800 W1
East Texas Baptist 11-4 0.733 18-4 0.818 L1
Mary Hardin-Baylor 9-9 0.500 14-11 0.560 L2
Concordia Texas 6-9 0.400 13-12 0.520 L7
LeTourneau 6-12 0.333 11-14 0.440 W1
Hardin-Simmons 6-12 0.333 9-13 0.409 L1
Sul Ross State 6-12 0.333 9-16 0.360 W1
Univ. of Ozarks 4-11 0.267 6-16 0.273 L1
Howard Payne 3-15 0.167 5-18-1 0.229 L4
Belhaven # 0-0 0.000 7-14 0.333 L3

# Ineligible for 2017 ASC Championship/NCAA Tournament (Div. III Provisional)