CANYON, Texas – The #1 Lady Buffs of West Texas A&M used a six run second inning and never looked back as they topped the Roadrunners of Metro State, 13-5 in five innings to advance to Championship Sunday of the NCAA DII South Central Regional Tournament being held at Schaeffer Park in Canyon, Texas. The Lady Buffs move to 53-5 on the season while the Roadrunners fall to 33-16.
The home half of the first inning saw Alyssa Lemos line a double past the bag at third base followed by a groundout the moved the senior to third base with one out, Renee Erwin drove in the game’s first run with a groundout to second base to score Lemos from third to give the Lady Buffs the early 1-0 lead. The Roadrunners saw their first base hit of the game come in the top of the second inning on a Kaylynn Harmon liner thru the left side with one out but WT’s Hannah Newcomb stopped the threat as she finished striking out the side as WT continued to lead, 1-0.
The Lady Buffs weren’t done yet as Kaisha Dacosin continued her hot streak at the dish as she led off the bottom of the second inning with a solo homerun the opposite way over the right field wall on an 0-1 offering. Allie Cranfill and Mallory Wyatt registered walks with no outs followed by a Lacey Taylor single to left center to load the bases, Metro registered the first out via a strikeout followed by Lemos getting hit by a pitch to make the score 2-0 with one out. Wilkinson and Erwin registered back-to-back walks with the bases loaded to drive in two more runs before the Roadrunners registered the second out, Dacosin became the hero of the second inning with a two RBI single to left field followed by a popup to first base as WT took the 7-0 lead after two innings.
The Roadrunners plated their first run of the game in the top of the third inning as Kelsey Tillery singled to left field with the bases loaded and one out to drive in Katie Deaguero followed by a Mary Towner walk with the bases loaded, Newcomb walked in a run with the bases loaded followed by a fielder’s choice for the second out. Aubree Maul singled thru the left side to drive in two runs followed by a groundout to Lemos at shortstop to end the frame with WT leading 7-4.
Wyatt reached to leadoff the third inning on a Metro throwing error followed by a Taylor single thru the right side before the Roadrunners forced a line drive to third base with a throw across the diamond for the double play, Lemos walked to put runners on first and second with two outs followed by a Wilkinson single to right field to load the bases followed by a MSU fielding error to run their lead to 8-4 after three innings of play.
The Roadrunners wouldn’t go down without a fight as Deaguero led off the top of the fourth inning with a solo homerun over the black monster and on-top of the batting cages beyond the left field fence to knock Newcomb from the game, Sipe made a diving catch in foul territory for the first out followed by a single up the middle before Rita Hokianga forced a popup to Cranfill at first followed by Taylor gunning down a runner attempting to steal second to end the inning with WT leading 8-5.
WT added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning as Cranfill launched a two run blast over the left center field wall with no outs to stretch the WT lead to 10-5, the top of the fifth inning saw Sipe register the first two outs of the frame with a popup and groundout followed by a Metro walk and a flyout to Erwin in right field to end the inning with WT leading 10-5. The long ball proved to be beneficial once again in the home half of the fifth inning as Lemos led off the frame with a solo homerun to straightaway center field followed by a Wilkinson single and Erwin triple to the gap to run the lead to 12-5, Metro forced a popup to third for the first out of the frame followed by a groundout before Cranfill ended the game with a walkoff single up the middle for the 13-5 victory.
Newcomb picked up the win in the circle (19-3) for the Lady Buffs, giving up four runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts in her 3.0 innings of work while Hokianga allowed one run on two hits with one walk and no strikeouts in the final two innings of play.
The Lady Buffs now advance to Championship Sunday with a 2-0 mark on the weekend as first pitch of the South Central Regional Championship is set for 1:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon at Schaeffer Park in Canyon. WT will have the advantage of holding the perfect record entering Sunday, having to win just one game to claim the Regional Championship while having to lose twice for another team to leave Canyon with the title.
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