2016 NCAA Division III National Champions
@Patriot_sb falls to UTD in ASC Championship finals
#10 East Texas Baptist (35-8)
#2 UT Tyler (39-3)
4/29/2017 | Tyler, Tx | Attendance: 576
East Texas Baptist0100010250
UT Tyler001002X360
Win: Alaina Kissinger (22-1) 6.252221
Loss: Rocki Tello (12-4) 6.063312
Lindsey Vasquez (ETBU) 401000
Jayme Perez (ETBU) 411101
Lacey Lindsey (ETBU) 111010
Gabby Gonzales (ETBU) 201000
Shelby Irlbeck (ETBU) 301100
Kaylee Prather (UTTSB) 322000

Saturday, April 29, 2017
by Nathan Wright // @NateWrightPT

TYLER - The UT Tyler softball team rallied once to keep its chase for the American Southwest Conference championship alive, but couldn’t do it twice. 

The No. 2 Patriots defeated rival East Texas Baptist 3-2 Saturday afternoon at Suddenlink Field to advance to the championship game against UT Dallas, but fell behind early and couldn’t catch the Comets, losing 7-5 Saturday evening. 

UT Dallas (36-8) won its first-ever ASC softball championship and earned the conference’s automatic bid to the national championship tournament while the defending national champion Patriots (39-4) must now wait to receive an at-large bid to the tournament. 

The tournament field will be announced on May 7. 

Just as they did when the teams met on Friday, the Comets jumped out to an early lead, taking a 4-0 advantage after two innings. 

The Patriots scored a run in the top of the third to briefly cut the UT Dallas lead to 4-1, but the Comets added three in the bottom of the third to go ahead 7-1. UT Tyler chipped away at the UT Dallas lead in the final three innings, including putting up three in the top of the seventh, but couldn’t finish the rally. 

No Patriot had more than one hit in the game, but Andrea Gonzales drove in three runs, including one on a solo home run in the sixth inning. 

Alaina Kissinger took the loss in the circle. The senior dropped to 21-2 this season by allowing two runs on two hits in just two-thirds of an inning. 

In the opening game of the day, the Patriots fell behind 1-0 to the Tigers in the second inning, but tied the game in the third. ETBU retook the lead in the top of the sixth on a solo home run, but the Patriots got a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning on a two-run double by KK Stevens and held on for a 3-2 victory. 

Kissinger earned the win by allowing two runs on five hits in six and two-thirds innings. Miranda Leal got the final out and picked up the save.

Offensively, Kaylee Prather had a pair of hits for the Patriots and Stevens drove in a pair. 

Prather, Stevens and Cheyenne Thompson were named to the all-tournament team. 

Now the Patriots await their fate from the selection committee. The Patriots were ranked first in the latest regional rankings and could still host a regional tournament. 

A year ago, UT Tyler lost in the championship game of the ASC tournament to ETBU and still hosted a regional tournament before going on to win the program’s first national championship.