Softball win ‘Inaugural San Antonio Highway 90 Classic’ after sweeping A&M San Antonio
Prior to the game, OLLU celebrated senior Jalin Oliva-St. Romain. Hear from her and watch highlights from her career. https://youtu.be/tFj79ZBv8zo
The softball team swept the home-and-home four-game series against the newest member of the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA). The Saints and Jaguars have established the inaugural “San Antonio Highway 90 Classic,” which will be a friendly rivalry between the universities. The team that wins at least three games of a four-game series wins the classic, and the losing athletic director will have to wear the winning team’s branded short for a day.
OLLU improves to 20-16 overall and 9-6 in the RRAC. The series sweep extends the Saints winning streak to seven games.
Head Coach Bruce Lenington commented, “It’s good to have another NAIA team in San Antonio. I think it is good for the sport and the city. Our pitching staff did a great job this weekend. The pitchers were very effective in the circle. Each of the wins this weekend had a different story; sometimes, we had to play small ball to win, and today we had a chance to hit a couple of home runs to help us. We are happy to get these victories and keep moving forward.”
The two programs met for the first time this weekend.
The first two games were played at A&M-SA. Game one was scoreless through seven innings and extra-innings ensued. Madison Nunn (JR/Cibolo, Texas) doubled to right-center field in the top of the tenth inning to score Kennah Kennedy (SR/Frost, Texas) and Joanna Gonzalez (JR/San Benito, Texas) to put the Saints ahead 2-0. Starting pitcher Ciera Martinez (SR/San Antonio, Texas) pitched the entire game and broke her single-game strikeout record with 16. She faced 32 batters and allowed only one hit. Nunn batted 3-for-5, and seven different Saints batters recorded at least one hit. The Saints held on to win 2-0, heading into game two.
Angela Ramirez (JR/Converse, Texas) followed Martinez’s performance on the mound with an impressive start in game two. She allowed five hits and one run in a complete game. The Saints took an early lead when Abigail Elizondo (FR/San Antonio, Texas) singled to score Gonzalez and Ariel Montgomery (JR/Castroville, Texas). The Saints held their 2-0 advantage into the sixth inning when they scored two more. Elizondo hit a sac fly to bring in Deandra Vera (SO/Uvalde, Texas) and Aileen Campos (SO/Robstown, Texas) singled to score Nunn. The Saints won 4-1, and three Saints batters had a multi-hit game.
The final two games of the series were played at OLLU. Martinez pitched her second game of the series in game three. She pitched another gem by striking out six batters in five scoreless innings. Ramirez took over for the final two innings and allowed one run on one hit. The Saints dominated in a 7-1 victory to officially win the series. Kaili Luna (FR/Converse, Texas) and Jennifer Estrada (JR/El Paso, Texas) went 2-for-3 at the plate. The Saints tallied three doubles and four stolen bases.
The series finale counted toward the Saints’ overall win total but not the conference record. Starting pitcher, Kelly Anne Salinas (SO/Laredo, Texas) tied her single-game strikeout record with seven in a complete game. OLLU scored four runs in the third inning with RBIs from Romain, Nunn and Gonzalez. The Saints added another run in the fifth inning and won 5-1 to complete the series sweep.
The Saints host the University of Houston-Victoria in a three-game series starting on April 23 to conclude the regular season.