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TLU Softball opens defense of 2019 national title with doubleheader sweep of HTU

Haley Padilla (photo by Joey Dearing)
Haley Padilla (photo by Joey Dearing)

SEGUIN, Texas -- Texas Lutheran Softball started defense of its 2019 NCAA Division III National Championship with a doubleheader sweep Monday afternoon of Huston-Tillotson University.

TLU won the first game 4-0 and took the second game 7-1.

At TLU's Ed Kruse Stadium (Morck Softball Field), senior right-hander Kayla Oliveira and freshman right-hander Sydney Ouellette combined on a two-hit shutout.

Oliveira improved to 1-0 on the year with five shutout innings. She allowed just one hit, and she struck out four with only one walk.

Ouellette, younger sister of starting right-fielder Skylar Ouellette, notched her first collegiate save with two innings of one-hit relief.

Ouellette posted her second career save in the late game. She entered the circle in the top of the fifth with two outs, the base loaded, and TLU clinging to a one-run lead, at 2-1.

Ouellette coaxed a ground ball right back to her and calmly made the underhand toss to first base for the final out of the inning. She finished out the game with two more scoreless innings.

First-year right-hander Ashlyn Strother picked up her first collegiate win with 4-2/3 innings of work in the second game. She allowed just one earned run, and she struck out six.

Haley Padilla gave TLU a 2-0 lead in the late game with two-run home run in the second inning.

Casey Martin, McKay Bloxham, and Kali Chatham each had RBI in the second-game win.

In the early contest, Bloxham went 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Cassie Roche and Padilla also had RBI in the 4-0 victory.

The Bulldogs, who stole 195 bases in 2019, stole 10 bases in the doubleheader. TLU had five steals in each game.

The Bulldogs next head to Austin this weekend for a 2 p.m. non-conference doubleheader with Concordia Texas.