BELTON â€” The UT Tyler softball team opened the 2013 season with a double-header sweep of Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday afternoon in Belton. The Patriots won the opener, 5-1, and closed out the afternoon with an 8-0 shutout.
The match-up featured the top two teams in the American Southwest Conference according to the preseason coachesâ€™ poll which had the No. 9 Patriots favored to win the East Division and UMHB tabbed to win the West.
In the first game, the Patriots took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI fielderâ€™s choice by Brittney Batten that scored Vanessa Carrizales.
The Patriots broke the game open in their half of the third, beginning with a solo home run from Carrizales â€“ the first of her career.
Two batters later, Joey Cronin singled in Ashley Endsley.
The Patriotsâ€™ third run of the inning came on a Rachel Howell double down the left field line that brought in Batten.
UT Tylerâ€™s other run came in the fourth when Carli Wheeler stole home after doubling to lead off the inning.
Heather Abshire pitched the compelte-game win for the Patriots.
The second game was all UT Tyler as the Patriots used six hits to jump out to an 8-0 lead in the top of the first on RBIs from Abshire, Ashley Endsley, Cronin, Batten and Raven Rodriguez.
The eight runs were all the Patriots needed.
In her first start as a Patriot, freshman Kelsie Batten tossed a one-hit shutout in the circle.
The Patriots will next see action on Feb. 24 when they host Trinity at the UT Tyler Ballpark in a doubleheader that begins at 1 p.m.