UT-Tyler to host NCAA Regional Tournament

Released by UT-Tyler Athletics

The UT Tyler softball team will join Claremon-Mudd-Scripps, Linfield, Redlands, East Texas Baptist and Soutwestern  in the 2013 Tyler Texas Regional.  The tournament is set to begin on Friday, May 10 at 11 a.m. with the Patriots taking on Southwestern.

The Tyler Texas regional produced last season's national champion, Pacific Lutheran, while the 2013 field features two of the last three National Champions, ETBU and Linfield.

UT Tyler (41-4) enters as the No. 1 seed in the regional, following a runner-up finish in the Amercian Southwest Conference.

The Patriots feature eight seniors who all play a role on the team that is ranked eighth in the country in batting average with a .363 team average.  UT Tyler scores 7.82 runs per game, which also ranks eighth best in the country.

All-Amercan Joey Cronin has been on fire all season, boasting a .472 batting average with 67 hits, 41 RBIs and a single-season conference record 24 doubles.  Cronin ranks first in the ASC in hits, doubles and games played.

UT Tyler also features two of the top pitchers in the region, with freshman Kelsie Batten sporting a 20-1 record with a 1.09 ERA.  Senior Heather Abshire boasts a 19-2 record with a 1.60 ERA, while batting .393 with four homeruns.

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps are no stranger to Tyler, playing in the last two Tyler Texas Regionals. CMS won the SCIAC Championship tournament with a 13-2 victory over Redlands.

The Athenas are led offensively by senior Harmony Palmer who is batting .500, with four triples and 51 runs scored, Hayley Schultz is the ace for CMS, going 25-3 on the year with a 1.37 ERA and 105 strikeouts.

2011 national champion Linfield is the No. 3 seed in the Tyler Regional after going 36-6 and winning the Northwest Conference tournament over Pacific Lutheran.

The Cats are the sixth ranked team in scoring in the nation, averaging 7.98 runs per game while batting .364 as a team.

Linfield also features three players who have totaled over 50 RBIs, including Lisa Yamamoto who has hit 13 homeruns this season.  Karina Paavola leads the way for the Cats in the circle, going 22-2 with a 1.81 ERA in 120 innings pitched.

Taking on Linfield in the first round will be No. 4 seed Redlands, who enters the regional with a 34-10 overall record.

The Lady Bulldogs are led offensively by Sara Beeman, who is hitting .444 on the year with 63 hits and 42 RBIs while Kayla Uphold leads the way in the circle with a 23-8 record and 106 strikeouts.

The fourth seed in the Tyler Regional will be familiar ASC foe East Texas Baptist.  The Tigers enter the tournament as the champions of the ASC, and a 34-10 overall record.

ETBU is a powerful team, blasting 30 homeruns on the year, and ranking 15th in the nation in team batting average with a .358 team average.

Lacy Liles is one of the best hitters in the nation, boasting a .423 batting average and seven homeruns.  The Tigers also feature a deep pitching staff that has four players who have totaled more than 30 innings pitched.

The sixth and final team in the regional will be Southwestern, who hails from Georgetown, Texas.

Southwestern won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament, earning an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

The Pirates are one of the top offensive teams in the region, sporting a .366 team average which ranks first in the region and fifth in the nation.

Abigail O'Connor is the leader of the offense, hitting .427 on the year with 50 hits, 10 stolen bases and a .456 on-base percentage.

Kelsey Kingston went 24-5 in the circle this season with a 2.32 ERA and an astounding 182 strikeouts, which ranks 13th in the nation.

The winner of the six-team, double-elimination tournament will earn a spot in the 2013 DIII World Series in Eau Claire, Wisconsin from May 17-21.