Feb. 15, 2014
By Michael Eldridge
ARLINGTON, Texas- The UT Arlington softball team doubled up wins over Central Michigan on Saturday to earn a place in the UTA Maverick Invitational championship game.
Jolene Schaefer clinched the win in the semi-final with a walk-off, bloop-single to left field that scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Mavericks will face the winner of Semifinal 2, South Dakota State vs. Missouri State, on Sunday at 12 p.m.
"I'm really happy for the girls, they have had a no-quit attitude all year," UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox said. "For us to be in a game where we are behind and for it to fall our way for a change feels really good."
UT Arlington 9, Central Michigan 3
UT Arlington was scoreless through the first two innings, but in the third UTA broke it open with a four-run inning and went on to win 9-3.
Jasmine Tanksley led the Mavericks with a 3-4 effort at the plate, racking up three RBI and crossing the plate twice.
Shannon Carrico (4-0) remained perfect from the circle after allowing just three earned runs. Carrico struck out two and walked one.
UT Arlington 2, Central Michigan 1
Central Michigan blanked the Mavericks through six innings, but Schaefer knocked a game-winning hit with the bases loaded and two out in the seventh.
UTA was down to its final out but didn't give up. Nina Villanueva lined a shot up the middle for her second hit of the game and Meagan Michele's hard hit ball was too much for the CMU shortstop to handle to load the bases for Schaefer.
Callie Collins (2-2) struck out a season-high 11 in the contest, allowing just two hits and an earned run through seven innings pitched.
The win snapped a skid of three consecutive doubleheaders in which UTA would fall in the finale.
"For us to come out and get a 'W' in the second game is a big deal," Fox said. "This is a good practice for us for when we get into conference and into the conference tournament. It will be good experience for our group."