TAMIU Softball Celebrates Heartland Conference Championship
4-2 win over St. Mary's in San Antonio lifts Dustdevils to title.
The Texas A&M International University Dustdevil softball team are now one of three programs this 2010-2011 school year to be called Heartland Conference Champions. The Dustdevils defeated St. Mary's University twice in two days to claim the title. The Dustdevils won on Saturday by a score of 4-2.
The Dustdevils jumped out early in the game to stake a 1-0 lead as Senior Samantha Garcia started off the bottom of the first inning with a single. Alexis Gonzales would sacrifice bunt Garcia to second base. Senior Victoria Beltran would single to center field moving Garcia to third base. As Samantha Carrillo was batting a passed ball just got past the catcher and Garcia would scamper home.
The Dustdevils would hold the lead until St. Mary's would score two runs in the top of the third inning on two run double by catcher Kelly Baker as she scored Jared Gonzales and Lauren Miller to lead 2-1. The Dustdevils would play shut down defense after that behind another outstanding pitching effort from Victoria Beltran as she would go the rest of the way in the circle picking up the would be win for TAMIU.
TAMIU would respond in the bottom of the fifth inning with what would prove to be the three winning runs. Samantha Garcia would once again get a single to get things started to center field. Alexis Gonzales would reach on a sacrifice bunt but then be called out for batter interference. So with two outs in the inning Victoria Beltran would prove to be clutch once more as she would single to left field scoring Samantha Garcia from second base tying the game at two apiece. Samantha Carrillo would single to getting runners at first and second. Clarissa Salinas would then single to the shortstop making it bases loaded with two outs. Then the big bat of Marina Vasquez would come to the plate and prove to be big once again as she would single to left field plating two runs to give the Dustdevils the lead for good 4-2.
The Dustdevils would finish out with great defense to seal the deal for TAMIU and give them their first Heartland Conference softball championship.
Coach Scott Libby said after the game "I couldn't be more proud of any team I have ever coached then this 2011 Dustdevil team. The y have answered every challenge thrown at them and have come up the undisputed Heartland Conference Champions." Assistant Coach Arek Zambanini said after the win "These girls are without a doubt the biggest bunch of gamers I have ever had the pleasure of coaching. "
The All Tournament Team honors included Seniors Victoria Beltran, Samantha Garcia and Clarissa Salinas. Freshman Kyndall Reaves also received all Tournament Team honors for her game two winning pitching performance.
The Dustdevils will have to wait a week to find out exactly where they will play in the Regional Tournament. Winning the Heartland Conference Tournament gives TAMIU an automatic berth into the regional round.