(Photo courtesy of Texas-Tyler Sports Information)
(Portions of this story courtesy of Texas Lutheran University)
TYLER, Texas - Nicole Clodfelter's walk-off double in the bottom of the 10th lifted Texas Lutheran to a 2-1 NCAA Division III Softball Regional win over No. 3-ranked University of Texas at Tyler.
Friday at UT Tyler's Suddenlink Field, Clodfelter's double over
left-fielder Karley Geiger's head drove home Grace Estes with
the winning run.
Estes reached second after an infield single and a sacrifice bunt from Taylor Yancey. Clodfelter, a freshman from San Antonio, delivered in a pinch-hit appearance.
The Bulldogs improved to 33-7 overall and dropped UT Tyler to 41-5. The Bulldogs have won 15 consecutive games.
The win was TLU's first-ever softball win over the Patriots. The Bulldogs were 0-and-5 all-time against UT Tyler entering Friday's game.
The Bulldogs, in their first-ever NCAA post-season softball game, collected 10 total hits against Patriots pitching and received a complete-game pitching performance from sophomore ace Taylor Grissom. Grissom pitched all 10 innings, scattered 11 hits and allowed just one run. She walked one and did not have a strikeout. Grissom improved to 9-2.
Alaina Kissinger took the loss for UT Tyler and dropped to 13-1. Kissinger pitched three innings in relief of Kelsie Batten, who went 6-1/3 and allowed just one unearned run.
TLU fell behind 1-0 in the seventh when Laura Robenalt drove in a run with an infield single. Raven Rodriguez scored from third on Robenalt's hit.
The Bulldogs bounced back in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI single from Heather Hummel. TLU had the bases loaded in the seventh and the eighth with one out but could manage only the run in the seventh.
Jennifer Gallagher and Molly Gorrie each had two hits for the Bulldogs.
TLU continued the regional's schedule by turning around and playing East Texas Baptist after the emotional win over UT Tyler, but the game with ETBU was called for the night due to rain and lightning.
The TLU/ETBU game will resume at 1 p.m. Saturday at Suddenlink Field. The game is scoreless in the bottom of the first with ETBU at the plate.