UTA softball’s comeback bid falls short in 5-4 loss against Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Senior first baseman Aileen Garcia prepares for a play during a game against Texas A&M-University Corpus Christi on March 4 at Allan Saxe Field. UTA lost 5-4 during the first game of the 2nd annual Boerner Invitational.

The softball team (1-8) lost its fifth consecutive game in a row, this time in the form of a 5-4 comeback loss to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi at Allan Saxe Field on Thursday night.

Head coach Peejay Brun said that the mistakes at the beginning of the game definitely hurt the team’s chances of winning.

“It’s very basic plays that we gotta make,” Brun said. “Those are going to be some of the things that with experience we’re going to get better as we go.”

After allowing three runs to start the game, the Mavericks had a chance to get some much needed runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning with the bases loaded.

UTA was unable to capitalize after senior infielder Aileen Garcia lined out to center, senior catcher Courtney Ogle struck out, and sophomore outfielder Reagan Hukill grounded out to end the inning.

Corpus Christi showed no signs of slowing down after taking a 3-0 lead. The Islanders tacked on two more runs in the top of the second inning to take a 5-0 lead.

Freshman pitcher Gracie Bumpurs’ night officially came to an end after pitching two innings, allowing three earned runs off five hits.

The Mavericks had another chance to put a run on the board after senior outfielder Amber Langston hit a two-out double to center field that put her in scoring position, but the Islanders ended the third inning with a strikeout.

With senior pitcher JoJo Valencia in the pitching circle, the Mavericks started to slow down the Islanders’ hot offense, holding them scoreless for the next three innings.

Valencia said that she really wanted to perform for her team. Although they fell short, she said that will give them motivation to play harder for the next game.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Mavericks offense started to piece things together, scoring four runs off three hits and cutting the Corpus Christi lead down to 5-4 headed into the seventh inning.

The comeback attempt was more alive than ever after Valencia shut down the Islanders for the fifth straight inning and kept the deficit to a single run going into the bottom of the seventh inning.

After starting the inning with back-to-back outs, all seemed lost for the Mavericks, but it wasn’t over. After getting two baserunners off two straight walks, senior infielder KJ Murphy came up to bat.

With two out and two on, Murphy was unable to get a runner across the plate, ending the comeback and the game in a 5-4 loss to the Islanders.

UTA ended the night scoring four runs off 11 hits and left 14 base runners stranded. Valencia ended her night with five innings pitched, striking out three and allowing only one hit.

Brun said that it’s always nice to see that fight from her team, but she needs them to be on top of their game on Friday.

The softball team will be back in action at 7 p.m. at Allan Saxe Field as they host No. 23 Iowa State University in the second game of the 2nd Boerner Invitational on Friday.

@ed_t0var

sports-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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