Prairie View upends TSU, advances to finals

Prairie View upends TSU, advances to finals

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Prairie View A&M 4, Texas Southern 3

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Prairie View A&M advanced to its first SWAC Softball Tournament championship game in 15 years after upending  defending champion Texas Southern 4-3 to advance.

Prairie View (18-21) awaits Alabama State in the finals. Texas Southern's (24-18-1) season comes to an end.

In the first inning Dominique Tello put the Lady Tigers ahead, belting a double off the right centerfield wall to drive in Sierra Valdez and Tevanae Tate.

The sides traded a scoreless second inning before Prairie View capitalized on an errant pitch by TSU ace Lauren Rodriguez, who plunked Alexis Freeman in the top of the third. After Shelby Williams moved Freeman over with a groundout, Keona Hunter singled to right center, scoring Freeman. Destinee Williams then tied the game with a RBI double down the left field line that plated Hunter.

Texas Southern regained the advantage as Sierra Valdez found a gap in left with a single that scored Ebony Wiltz, but squandered an opportunity for more as Tello went down swinging and Julia Bilbao flied out to left, stranding runners on the corners. The Lady Tigers had another chance after a Zariah Robins single and a Wiltz double, but A'Leecia Bell popped out, ending the threat.

Prairie View pulled ahead in the back-and-forth contest as Freeman reached via single and later scored as an attempted putout throw of S. Williams at first was airmailed. The Lady Panthers took control after a sac fly by Hunter plated S. Williams.

From there, Prairie View's Vannessa Castro did the rest, silencing the Texas Southern offense with three innings of shutout ball to punch the Lady Panthers' ticket to the final.

Freeman scored two runs. Ashley Higgins scattered seven hits in 4.0 innings, getting the win.