No. 8 Lions advance to winner’s bracket after 3-0 shutout win over Dixie State
By Texas A&M University-Commerce
May 10, 2019
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COMMERCE– The No. 8 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team defeated Dixie State 3-0 on Thursday in the first round of the South Central Regional Tournament. The Lions used defense and timely hitting to pick up the win.
The win brings the Lions to 39-12 on the season and they advance to the winner's bracket in the region. The Trailblazers fall to 42-12 on the year and they will play in the loser's bracket.
The Lions return to action on Friday with a matchup against No. 19 Tarleton, who advanced to the winner's bracket after a 2-1 win over Cameron earlier in the day. The game will begin at Noon at the John Cain Family Softball Field.
Tickets to the remaining days of the South Central Regional Tournament are available at, by calling (903) 468-8756, by visiting the Lion Sales & Service Box Office in the Field House or by purchase at the gates of the field.

Head Coach Richie Bruister

Thoughts on the game: "We knew going in that it was going to be two great teams with two great pitchers. Looking at the scouting reports, you knew it was going to be a pitcher's duel. That's certainly what we got. We are certainly pleased with how Otto kept her composure and how she matched their pitcher pitch for pitch. It was great. It gave our offense a chance to get some good swings on it. We made some adjustments at the plate and started to see the ball better and got on base. And we got that huge hit from Bri Sims. That's what got us the win today. Any time you can get a win at this stage is wonderful. I'm very proud of the team.

On getting base runners on even without hits: "You get on however you can. Whether that's hit by pitch, a walk or some timely hitting. Schaefer had that sacrifice fly, and that's good team execution. It doesn't show up in the box score as a hit but it gave us an opportunity to drive a run in. Nunez didn't get credit for a hit but she put pressure on the defense and caused an error."

On facing Tarleton in the next round: "It is going to be a battle. I preach to my kids about the little things. That's what we have to do. We just have to go out there and play our game. We know it is going to be a Lone Star battle. We are looking forward to the opportunity. We are looking forward to the crowd. I wish I could be a spectator because it is going to be some awesome softball."
Senior Bri Sims

- On getting the home run in the tough conditions: " The conditions were tough. My first at-bat, I thought I got a hold of that ball. Then the next at bat felt good."

- On playing defense in high winds: "Defensively, we had to make sure we followed the ball. Everybody needed to be aware of where the ball was going because it could end up anywhere with the way the wind was blowing."
Sophomore Emily Otto

Her thoughts on the game: "I felt good going into the game. I fed off of my team's effort to have my back both on offense and defense. They made great plays today. The plays they were making pumps me up. I just throw it and let them shine."

Her thought process during the game: "My thought process was to just put it where they will swing the bat. I have so much faith and trust in my defense behind me that if I throw it wrong and they put it in play that we are going to get out of it. And we did."

- Bri Sims (Rowlett) hit a home run in the fourth inning against heavy winds. It was her 15th home run of the year. It was the Lions' lone hit of the game.

- Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar Consolidated) pitched her 23rd complete game of the year and earned her 27th win. She tied her season-high with nine strikeouts and gave up just three hits.
- Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence) and Avery Boley (Fort Worth – Nolan Catholic) had sacrifice flies. Ciera Nunez (Amarillo – Randall) and Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) scored runs.
Both teams came out swinging and both pitchers took advantage early. Otto had four strikeouts in the first two innings.
The Trailblazers loaded the bases with one out in the third inning but Otto forced a lineout to center and Kayla Kilcrease (Kerens) made the grab to end the inning. The Lions then scored in the bottom of the third. Three Lions reached via walk in a row and Schaefer then hit a deep fly ball to left, which allowed Hill to score on the sacrifice. The Lions led 1-0 after three.
Sims added to the Lion lead in the fourth inning with a home run. She hit a ball hard to left and it fought the wind to clear the fence, banging off of the foul pole. The Lions then added a run in the fifth. Nunez reached on an error that allowed her to get all the way to third. She scored on a sacrifice fly from Boley.
The Lion defense took the team the rest of the way, making all the plays they needed to pick up the win.