COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: UTPB softball, baseball close out road schedules

As the UTPB softball season draws to a close, head coach Tiala Tagaloa said that she spent time to reflect between games of Sunday’s doubleheader against Eastern New Mexico.

She shared some of that message during a virtual press conference Monday, emphasizing to her team to make the most of the short time left of the season.

“My old boss used to say that you have four years to play and a lifetime to talk about it,” Tagaloa said. “I said to them that you have the pen in your hand so write a story that you’re going to be proud of.”

The Falcons were able to do that, closing the doubleheader with a 13-3 victory in six innings against the Greyhounds in Portales, N.M.

UTPB jumped out to a 5-0 lead early before an eight-run top of the sixth inning helped seal the game.

The 13 runs are the most that UTPB has scored in a conference game this season and the most since scoring 18 against the University of the Southwest back on Feb. 27.

It was all the run support pitcher Sierra Camacho needed.

The Odessa High graduate earned her first collegiate win of the season by striking out four in a complete-game effort.

Tagaloa said previously that Camacho did a good job of making adjustments when she needed to and that the run support eased some of the pressure.

“One thing we’ve talked about with the hitters is that the pitcher shouldn’t feel like they have to be perfect and that they can’t make a mistake,” she said. “They should be allowed to be miss one pitch and they can get a hit without it being detrimental to winning or losing the game.”

The Falcons will be heading back to New Mexico for their final road trip of the season as UTPB takes on Western New Mexico in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Friday in Silver City.

While there are no postseason implications for either team, Tagaloa wants to make sure that the Falcons close the season on a good note to give them something to build on heading into the 2022 season.

She added that it is also finals week and that handling everything that comes with that makes closing strong even more important.

“It’s been tough so I just want them to get out there and whatever they have that given day, just give it all they’ve got,” she said. “I also want them to know that we can accomplish a lot if we can just come together and stay together.”

>> ON THE ROAD: The UTPB baseball team will head on the road for the final time in the regular season as the Falcons take on Angelo State in a three-game series staring at 6 p.m. Friday at 1st Community Credit Union Stadium in San Angelo.

The Falcons are looking to keep their postseason hopes alive after falling in two out of three games against Lubbock Christian. UTPB sits in 10th place in the Lone Star Conference standings behind St. Edward’s, who the Falcons will play at home next weekend in a makeup of a postponed series.

The top eight teams advance to the conference tournament but the ninth place team will earn a spot due to UT Tyler being ineligible as a provisional member of Division II.

>> TOURNEY TIME: The UTPB men’s tennis team earned the No. 4 seed in the Lone Star Conference Tournament and will open against No. 5 seed Dallas Baptist at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Waco Regional Tennis Center in Waco. The winner of that matchup will face top seed Cameron, which earned a first-round bye.

The Falcons are one of seven teams to qualify for the tournament which runs through Saturday. The winner of the tournament will earn an automatic berth to the Division II South Central Regional May 10-11 in Arlington.

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