BEAUMONT, Texas - In an all-Sun Belt matchup in the National Invitational Softball Championship, it was ULM who topped UTA 5-0 to eliminate the Mavericks from the competition on Wednesday in the Beaumont Regional.
The Mavs saw the end of a campaign that featured a 32-28 record, the best win total since the 2011 season and first postseason appearance since 2003. ULM advances into a second elimination game at 7 p.m. this evening against the loser of Lamar and Abilene Christian. The matchup marked the 101st meeting between the two teams, the Mavs lead 51-50.
Freshman Mariah Denson, making just her fifth start of the season, pitched a perfect opening three innings before luck would turn against her. A bloop-hit led to a double to start off the fourth and back-to-back hits opened scoring. ULM knocked a two-out double to the wall to push two more across in the frame, but the Mavs would get the third runner out on a relay from left that ended the threat at home.
Three consecutive singles once again in the fifth plated a run to make it a 4-0 game.
Despite being held off the board in the opening four innings, the Mavs had their opportunities and put runners on second in third in both the first and fourth. However, UTA would be unable to get any closer to get on the board.
Denson, knocked with the loss, went to 2-8 for the year. Denson was on the hook for four earned, seven hits and struck out two.
Senior Mallory Foster led the offsense with two hits in her final game as a Maverick. Junior Sandra Mendoza notched her 60th hit of the season, coming just one short of entering the top-10 of UTA's single-season records. UTA finished with six hits overall compared to ULM's 11, while each team left six on base.
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