2016 NCAA Division III National Champions
PREVIEW: @Patriot_sb, Comets set for three in Richardson
#3 Texas-Tyler (27-1, 18-1 ASC)
Texas Dallas (19-13, 15-7 ASC)
4/14/2018 | Richardson, Texas | Attendance: 215
Texas Dallas011000255
Win: Colleen Bentke (14-1) 6.052106
Loss: Karen Crane (11-6) 4.097401
Nicole Garcia (UTTSB) 422000
Ashley Perez (UTTSB) 332111
Andrea Gonzales (UTTSB) 412200
Lynsey Mitchell (UTTSB) 312401
Melissa Livermore (UTD) 312000

Thursday, April 12, 2018
by Wes Bloomquist | wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – The No. 3-ranked UT Tyler softball team is on a 19-game winning streak going into a Saturday-Sunday road series against UT Dallas with three American Southwest Conference games in Richardson. The series will begin with a 5 p.m. game on Saturday before a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Sunday at the UTD Softball Field.

The Patriots (26-1, 17-1 ASC) are coming off an emphatic conference sweep of East Texas Baptist, while UT Dallas (19-12, 15-6 ASC) is coming off taking two of three from Belhaven this week and has won 10 of its last 11 games. The series is a rematch of last year’s ASC Championship finals where the Comets won the title with a 7-5 decision.

UT Tyler comes into the series atop numerous NCAA Division III categories, including leading the nation with a .986 fielding percentage and ranking second in batting average (.417), on-base percentage (.481), shutouts (14) and slugging percentage (.654). The Patriot pitching staff is third nationally with a 1.17 ERA and the team is sixth with 1.11 home runs per game. UT Tyler has outscored its opponents by a 230-31 margin this season.

UT Tyler freshman Ashley Perez is second in the nation with 43 RBIs and second in the ASC with a .500 batting average, while junior outfielder Nicole Garcia is seventh nationally with a .595 batting average. Garcia, a Sugar Land native in her first season with the Patriots, is fourth in the nation with a .653 on-base percentage. She has 11 doubles and 22 RBIs as the team’s leadoff hitter who has hit safely in 26 of 27 games this season. A Pflugerville native, Perez leads UT Tyler with nine home runs and 15 doubles. Her 15 doubles is the third most in the country, while first baseman Andrea Gonzales is the toughest player in the nation to strikeout without going down on strikes in 84 at-bats this season. A senior from Elgin, Andrea Gonzales enters this weekend’s series with a .500 batting average and 16 RBIs.

UT Tyler junior Lynsey Mitchell is coming off an eight-RBI weekend against the Tigers, including hitting two homers in the series opener. A Liberty Hill native, Mitchell is hitting .490 with six home runs and 23 RBIs in only 49 at-bats this season. Victoria Gonzales is tied with Mitchell with six home runs and is hitting .427 with 27 RBIs, while her twin sister Theresa Gonzales is hitting .405 with 11 doubles and 27 RBIs. Hannah Moore has added five home runs and 15 RBIs as the team’s starting shortstop, while fellow senior Kailey Henderson has 15 hits and 14 RBIs as the starting left fielder. In center, Kursten Jaime is hitting .359 with 16 runs scored and Courtney Fisher and Shae Harris have six RBIs each.

In the pitcher’s circle, Colleen Bentke has accumulated a 13-1 record and Whitney Romero is at 10-0. A junior left-hander from Brenham, Bentke has a 0.90 ERA with 68 strikeouts through 85 2/3 innings while Romero has a 1.48 ERA with 53 strikeouts. Miranda Leal has added two more wins and 13 strikeouts in 11 relief appearances. The Patriot pitchers have combined for 139 strikeouts, only 34 walks and have limited opponents to a .203 average while their offense is hitting .417.

UT Dallas comes into the series hitting .331 as a team, led by Melissa Livermore who is at .451, Emily Schroeder at .370 and Amber Williams who is hitting .358. Livermore leads the ASC with 51 hits this season and has 43 stolen bases for the Comets. In the circle, UTD is led by Karen Crane who has an 11-5 record with a 2.29 ERA and 26 strikeouts. Allie Stephens has added seven wins and tops the team with 43 strikeouts in 79 2/3 innings.

UT Tyler will return from its trip to Richardson to host Ozarks in a three-game ASC series next weekend. The Patriots and Eagles will start the series at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20 before Senior Day which is a noon doubleheader on Saturday, April 21 and the final regular-season home games for UT Tyler at Suddenlink Field.

UT Tyler 17-1 0.944 26-1 0.963 W19
East Texas Baptist 17-4 0.810 24-7 0.774 L3
Mary Hardin-Baylor 16-5 0.762 22-9 0.710 W4
UT Dallas 15-6 0.714 19-12 0.613 L1
Concordia Texas 13-8 0.619 17-13 0.567 W4
Louisiana College 13-8 0.619 15-14 0.517 L2
Sul Ross State 11-10 0.524 14-15 0.483 L1
Belhaven 9-9 0.500 18-11 0.621 W1
LeTourneau 8-16 0.333 11-19 0.367 W1
McMurry 6-15 0.286 10-21 0.323 W2
Howard Payne 5-16 0.238 8-21-2 0.290 L2
Ozarks 4-14 0.222 4-18 0.182 L3
Hardin-Simmons 1-23 0.042 1-31 0.031 L7