Softball clinches SCAC Tournament Bid; Split the Day with the 'Roos

Crusaders get needed win to secure spot in SCAC Tournament at Texas Lutheran next week.
Crusaders get needed win to secure spot in SCAC Tournament at Texas Lutheran next week.

IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas softball team split on Saturday with Austin College. Dallas clinched a spot to the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Tournament for the fifth straight year by winning a six-inning, run-rule in the opener. The Crusaders currently slot fifth in the standings with a one-game lead over Trinity University, who also split today. Dallas does own the tiebreaker should things be even after Sunday.

The 'Roos countered with nine runs in the second matchup thanks to five over the first two turns to bat. The home team countered with four runs in the final two innings, with three in the seventh. However it was not enough as the series ended split on the day.


GAME 1 INFORMATION

Team Scores: Austin College (1), University of Dallas (9) (Final 6 innings)

Team Records: Austin (7-30, 2-19 SCAC), Dallas (12-25, 7-14 SCAC)

Pitcher Records: W) Galvan (7-11), L) Wright (1-12)

NOTABLE STATISTICS

- The top five Crusaders in the lineup combined for nine-of-10 hits. Dallas reached double-digits in the hit column all three games during the three-game winning stretch.

- Melanie Savala (Bryan, Texas) led the team with her second 3-for-4, RBI, and 2 runs scored game of the campaign. She also had a double, which occurred in the other identical game at Trinity (Mar. 3) in game one of that series.

- Avery Finch (Jamul, Calif.) and Allie Driskill (Houston, Texas) added 2-for-3 performances. Finch scored two runs while Driskill scored once and plated a run.

- Joining the RBI leader (Driskill) with one apiece were: Mackenzie Tano (Wylie, Texas), Savala, and Baylee Leifester (Belton, Texas) for a quartet overall in the game.

- Allison Kotlar (Edna, Texas) whacked her first triple of the season and UD's other extra base hit for her lone knock. She completed a trio of players to score two runs.

- On the basepaths, Dallas swiped a season-high eight as a team. Driskill headlined the individuals with the freshman's first game with multiple steals (3).

- UD last stole this many bases on two occasions in 2016 (Hendrix College – Feb. 14 | Centenary College – Mar. 5). That same spring, the Crusaders snatched 11 thefts at Austin College (Apr. 2).

- Lauren Galvan (Bryan, Texas) got her seventh win by throwing six innings and scattering three hits. She didn't allow an earned run while walking three and striking out four. Her strikeout total is two off from personal best earlier against Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham (Mar. 15).

- Both teams committed four errors.

- Austin College had three players' record hits. Cassidy McDaris was one of them and scored a run. Taylor Van Kirk posted an RBI and had one of the other AC knocks.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Dallas scored in every inning, with a four-run sixth pushing the advantage far enough to give the team its second run-rule victory of the year, with both occurring over this eight-game homestand.

The 'Roos hit into a double play after loading the bases with one out to end their first inning. In the bottom half, Finch bunted for a single back to the pitcher. She stole her first base of an eventual five over the course of the twinbill. A two-out double by Savala to left scored the leadoff hitter and put Dallas in front for good.

The Crusaders added on a single run in the first five inning to control a lead by just as many. In the second frame, Tano scored Stephanie Cervantes on a sacrifice fly. The catcher had started that inning by being hit by a pitch. In the third, UD managed a successful double steal with Driskill crossing home and Leifester being safe at second on the throwdown. Kotlar made it a 4-0 game in the fourth by tripling to left center and scoring on a wild pitch with the next batter up. A wild pitch after Savala started the fifth on a single to center would put her in scoring position. She advanced to third on a groundout and then Leifester drove her in on a groundout to short stop.

Meanwhile, Austin College did not post its first base hit until a two-out infield ball at short by Lauren Mara. The other two hits for the guests occurred in the sixth where the margin was reduced to 5-1. Van Kirk had singled to center and brought in McDaris who had the other single to start the frame. Two UD miscues helped keep the inning going, which would have protected a shutout had there been none.

The 'Roos had a pair of miscues in the bottom half of the sixth that magnified a big Dallas inning that secured the team's third win in a row. Finch followed a Kotlar walk with a bunt single. A throwing error allowed Kotlar to score and Finch to race around the bags and touch home, too. Tano singled to right and scored on a Jade Miller (Plano, Texas) bunt single that also was thrown away. Miller would be out at second for the lone out of the inning. After Savala reached on an error, she stole second and then Driskill dropped an RBI-single to wrap up the final score.


GAME 2 INFORMATION

Team Scores: Austin College (9), University of Dallas (6)

Team Records: Austin (8-30, 3-19 SCAC), Dallas (12-26, 7-15 SCAC)

Pitcher Records: W) Herrera (4-15), L) Lee (5-12)

NOTABLE STATISTICS

- Finch registered her own 3-for-4 game with an RBI and two runs scored. The only difference from Savala was the center fielder's extra base hit was a triple. Finch matched a season-high three stolen bases for the second time this spring.

- Finch has claimed nine base thefts over the last five games, with them coming in all-but one game. Two of those were the three-steal games. The all-time steals leader at UD now has 99 and her recent surge has propelled her to second on the team with 14.

- The Crusaders ran for six stolen bags, which ranks third in a single contest. As a team, they have amassed 27 steals over the last five outings.

- Miller had become the fourth player tied for 52 hits in an individual season for the program record in game one. An infield hit to short shattered the mark with her 53rd for sole possession. Amber Adams (2009), Jessica Mollner (2009), and Finch (2016) were the previous holders.

- Driskill dialed her second multiple hit game (2-4) in the series and etched an RBI to extend her lead at the top of statistical category for the year (24). Finch, Tano, Savala, and Lety Morales (Fontana, Calif.) had the other ribbies.

- Dallas as a team managed nine hits. The Crusaders have posted at least eight over the home stretch.

- Katie Lee (Houston, Texas) was saddled with the loss in one inning of a start. She allowed three runs (1 earned) on three hits and walked one. Emily Martin (San Jose, Calif.) pitched the remaining 1.2 innings of the game and kept the 'Roos scoreless.

- Two players in Ashley Mayorga (3-4) and Kat Wright (3-5) led AC with game-highs in hits. The team had 14 altogether.

- McDaris and Van Kirk contributed multi-hit games and combined for eight RBI with five and three, respectively.

- Tori Herrera scattered nine hits and allowed six runs (5 earned) with a walk and four strikeouts in the complete game.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Austin College got on the board quickly with three runs in the first and added a pair in the second. A sacrifice fly in the first by McDaris plated Beth Massey for the first run of the contest. Van Kirk made the Crusaders pay for a fielding miscue as her two-RBI hit up the middle completed the scoring. In the next inning, McDaris singled in two runs on another ball batted back up the middle.

The Crusaders offense slumbered through the first three frames with all nine players being sent down in order. Finch bunted to third and ignited an inning that got the home white jersey's on the board. Finch stole second and then Mackenzie Tano got hit by pitch. With one out, Finch stole third for her second base swipe this inning. Within the same plate appearance, Tano stole second but a throw got away and Finch scored. Tano had gotten to third on that play and next ran home on a Savala deep sacrifice fly to the left field corner just near the warning track.

Austin College had scored in the top of the fourth, but were only ahead by four runs (6-2) after the Crusaders result in the next half.

It was the road team that kept the momentum with two runs in the fifth. Both came off the bat of a hard hit double off the right field wall by McDaris. A run in the sixth increased the advantage for the 'Roos by six (9-2).

A Morales single up the middle in the bottom of the sixth scored Miller who had cracked her single-season 53rd hit to begin the inning. Miller two batters later swiped her team-leading 25th stolen base. Cervantes pinch hit and was hit for the second time on the afternoon (team-leading 8th on year). A dropped foul ball extended the at bat for Morales to then just inch a single out of the reach of the 'Roos defense back up the middle.

In their final turn to bat, the Crusaders started a rally with three consecutive base hits from Kotlar, Finch, and Tano. After two groundouts, Driskill captured the final RBI and scored Tano for the sixth run. That was as close as UD could come with a foul out ending the game.

UP NEXT

Dallas concludes the regular season with Senior Day tomorrow starting at 12 p.m.