Crusaders Claw Back in Dramatic 7th in Game 2; Not enough as Centenary Sweeps the Day

Crusaders unable to complete dramatic ending in seventh.
Crusaders unable to complete dramatic ending in seventh.

IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas softball team allowed big third innings in both contests on Thursday evening to open a Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) home series with Centenary College. In game one, the Ladies scored four runs to cruise to a five-run shutout. The nightcap featured five runs in the third, but Dallas did battle back with four in its last trip to the plate. This included a two-out rally that had the tying run at third base and winning run at second base. It was not enough for the Crusaders, as they got swept on the day.


GAME 1 INFORMATION

Team Scores: Centenary College (5), University of Dallas (0)

Team Records: Centenary (12-19, 9-8 SCAC), Dallas (9-24, 4-13 SCAC)

Pitcher Records: W) Aldridge (8-10), L) Galvan (5-11)

NOTABLE STATISTICS

- Mackenzie Tano (Wylie, Texas) went 2-for-4 and Allison Kotlar (Edna, Texas) added a 2-for-3 as the duo collected half of the eight hits for the Crusaders.

- Tano punched one of UD's trio of doubles. Stephanie Cervantes (Temecula, Calif.) and Jade Miller (Plano, Texas) had the others.

- Cervantes drew a walk in the second inning. This marked the first walk after five games of not having one dating back to the third contest at Southwestern University.

- Lauren Galvan (Bryan, Texas) was saddled with the loss. She pitched a complete game with five runs (3 earned) on 10 hits given up.

- Centenary produced all its hits for singles. This included six in the four-run third.

- Kelsey Ancelot, Haley Campbell, and Lizzie Moran all had 2-for-4 results at the plate.

- Nichole Aldridge threw six innings and scattered seven hits with no runs given up. She walked one and struck out four.

HOW IT HAPPENED

The first two innings went by quickly as both pitchers breezed through the opposing hitters. After Galvan had retired the first six Centenary hitters in a row, the bottom of the order sparked a big third inning. Windy Gillet and Ashley Albright singled back-to-back to start the frame. After a bunt was popped up for the first out, an error allowed the guests to break the scoreless tie. It was quickly 2-0 as another throwing error on a stolen base attempt to second went through to the outfield and allowed Albright to score from third.

Centenary proceeded to add another pair of runs. Being the ninth batter in the inning, Moran singled to center field, but UD's Avery Finch (Jamul, Calif.) made a fantastic throw that nailed Anna Dunn at the plate to finish the frame. Haley Campbell had scored before the tag out and marked the fourth and final run of that inning.

The Crusaders did record a hit in every inning throughout this game. Dallas had two runners on in the second with one retired, but were unable to move them around. Tano doubled with one out deep down the left field line in the bottom of the third. Miller grounded out to move her to third, but then a fly out to center ended the UD at bat.

After the Ladies pushed the advantage to five in the fifth, Dallas countered with its only inning to smack multiple hits with two in the bottom portion of the frame. Kotlar had a one-out hit and then Tano singled two batters later through the left side, but another fly ball to right ended with the home team not scoring. Dallas left nine runners on overall.


GAME 2 INFORMATION

Team Scores: Centenary College (6), University of Dallas (5)

Team Records: Centenary (13-19, 10-8 SCAC), Dallas (9-25, 4-14 SCAC)

Pitcher Records: W) Aldridge (9-10), L) Lee (4-11)

NOTABLE STATISTICS

- Cervantes posted her second 3-for-4 game on the campaign. She added two RBI and legged out another double. That two-bagger was the only extra base hit for UD.

- Miller posted a hit to give her a three-game hitting streak. She also drove in a run and scored once. Tano's ribbie was her 15th on the season and pulled her within two of the team leader Allie Driskill (Houston, Texas).

- Miller bolstered her team-lead in stolen bases with her 22nd. Finch and Kotlar each added on to form a trio with thefts. Finch nabbed number 90 to increase her all-time program record.

- Galvan pitched effectively in 4.1 innings of relief. She allowed a run on three hits and walked one.

- The Crusaders notched eight hits for the second straight game.

- Centenary posted 13 hits, which were again all singles. The Ladies swiped for bases, including two from Haley Miller.

- Albright was one-of-four players to record a 2-for-3 at the plate and tied a game-high two RBI. Gillet, Albright, and Miller formed the bottom three in the lineup card and went a combined 6-for-9 with four runs driven in.

- Aldridge pitched 6.1 innings. She started and threw the first six frames. After facing one Crusader in the seventh, she was removed for Lauren Beadle. However the starter returned to get the final out. She surrendered two runs (1 earned) on seven hits while having walked and struck out two.

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Crusaders got on the board with their first run of the evening in their opening turn to hit in game two. Miller, who has notched a base hit in 31 games her freshman year, poked a single through the left side with two outs. She swiped second and then Melanie Savala (Bryan, Texas) lined a ball to center. Centenary's Ancelot had the ball pop out of her glove and UD benefited to grab a 1-0 lead.

It was another big third inning that propelled the guests in front for good. This time it was a five-run inning. The Ladies had batted around in game one, and would do so this time by sending 11 hitters to the plate. Dallas got the first out, but then five straight singles with two runs crossing ignited the huge frame. Gillett lined out to left for the second out as Miller made a sliding catch. Dunn scored the third run on the sacrifice fly. A wild pitch advanced two runners for the Ladies into scoring position and then Albright brought them in on a single to right field. A single put the runners on the corners and then a walk loaded the bases.

Galvan was called back on and got a fly out to center to escape the bases loaded jam and keep the deficit at five.

Dallas had a pair of hits in the first two innings but only the one run to show from it on a miscue form the opposition. The third was the first time all night the Crusaders did not post a hit nor base runner. In the fourth, UD threatened with the bases juiced and no one out. A pair of pop ups followed by a strikeout kept the Crusaders off the board that inning.

Centenary responded with a run in the next half inning.

Still, the Crusaders were able to muster a rally in their seventh inning. Down 6-1 Kotlar led off with a single over the third baseman and into left. The Ladies made a pitching change by bringing Beadle in. She walked Finch and the two seniors successfully executed a double steal. Tano and Miller had back-to-back groundouts that moved the players along 60 feet and scored each of them in the respective at bats. With two gone, Savala drew a walk. Then Dallas made things interesting. Down 0-2 in the pitch count, Driskill ripped a hit back up the middle to keep the line moving.

Aldridge was summoned back in to try and gain the final out. She got ahead on Baylee Leifester (Belton, Texas), but the second baseman fought back to snag a walk. Cervantes fell behind in the count 0-2 for the third straight Dallas hitter to face such a count. The catcher clobbered a fly ball that was just out of the reach of a sliding Centenary Moran and the score was suddenly 6-5 and runners were on second and third. A grounder to third on the next at bat created drama after a slight bobble, but Dunn recovered in time to secure the sweep for the visitors.

UP NEXT

These teams conclude the series tomorrow at 1 p.m.