2016 NCAA Division III National Champions
RECAP: @Patriot_sb falls twice in OKC to end 2018 season
UT Tyler (44-4)
at
Illinois Wesleyan (38-11-1)
5/26/2018 | Oklahoma City, Okla. | Attendance: 0
12345678910RHE
UT Tyler0000011000291
Illinois Wesleyan10000010013101
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: Walker (12-4) 2.010002
Loss: Miranda Leal (0-0) 3.141121
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
Nicole Garcia (UTTSB) 402000
Berghoff (IWU) 412010
Fulk (IWU) 502200
Barrett (IWU) 402000

Saturday, May 26, 2018
by Wes Bloomquist | wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

OKLAHOMA CITY – The UT Tyler softball team had its season end after losing 3-2 in 10 innings to No. 24 Illinois Wesleyan and then dropping a 3-2 elimination game to No. 21 Ithaca at the NCAA Division III Championship tournament on Saturday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

The Patriots (44-5) had staved off elimination over the past two weeks with wins over Texas Lutheran and Linfield in the regional rounds, but would strand nine runners on base against the Bombers (35-12) who would score all five of their runs in the second inning of four hits and two Patriot errors. UT Tyler, which has advanced to four straight NCAA Championships, was never able to mount a comeback after the five-run inning with its best opportunity coming in the fourth where the Patriots would strand the bases loaded after a filling them with only one out. A flyout and groundout would keep the Bombers in front by four, a margin they would maintain before Andrea Gonzales drove in a run that Ithaca exchanged for an out at first before a line-out to short ended the game and the season.

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UT Tyler sophomore Whitney Romero (13-1) took her first loss of the season after allowing one earned run on two hits. She would exit the game with no outs recorded in the second inning before Miranda Leal gave up two earned runs on two hits. Colleen Bentke would take the ball with still only one out in the second inning and completed the game. A junior from Brenham, Bentke would limit the Bombers to three hits and no runs in 5 2/3 innings as she kept them off the board in attempt to give the offense an opportunity to make a comeback.

Nicole Garcia and Andrea Gonzales led the Patriots by going 2-for-4, while Ashley Perez and Kailey Henderson were both 1-for-3 with doubles.

UT Tyler was forced into the elimination game after Illinois Wesleyan pulled out a 3-2 win in 10 innings with a one-out single up the middle that came after a single, error and walk to load the bases. The Patriots, who had only played one extra-inning game this season with an 4-3 win in 11 innings against Concordia in the American Southwest Conference Championship tournament, trailed throughout the game after IWU had scored a first-inning run on two hits. The game wouldn’t see another run though for the next four innings before Perez led off the sixth with a solo home run. The homer was her 19th of the season which sets a new UT Tyler single-season record. The Patriots would take their first lead of the game in the top of the seventh after Makayla Dominguez led off with a pinch-hit single to get on base and Victoria Gonzales hit a pop fly that landed between IWU runners and allowed pinch runner Natalie Romeo to race around for the lead. Down 2-1, Josten led the bottom of the seventh inning off with a solo home run to center field to tie the game that would go 10 before the Titans walked off with the win.

After two days of play, Ithaca will now play Virginia Wesleyan on Sunday needing two wins while Illinois Wesleyan will play tonight’s winner between Luther and Case Western. The Patriots opened the tournament on Thursday with a 7-1 win over CWRU before a weather postponement on Friday shifted the scheduled to Saturday.