Waiting game for Jaguars in RRAC Tournament

Marcus Gutierrez By Marcus Gutierrez

May 4, 2017 at 9:42 p.m.

UHV will have to wait to play its opening game in the Red River Athletic Conference Softball Tournament on Friday.

The Jaguars are the No. 2 seed in the tournament after finishing with a 31-17 record and a 22-6 record in conference play to receive a first-round bye.

"It's huge to get the bye in the first round," said UHV head coach Lindsey Ortiz. "When we lost the LSU-Alexandria series in the season, we talked about getting that No. 2 seed. We focused on getting better as a team, and that's where we ended up at the end of the season."

The winner of Friday's 1:30 matchup between No. 3 Huston-Tillotson and No. 6 Langston will face the Jaguars at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Oran Good Park in Farmers Branch.

Play will continue Saturday, and the championship game will be played at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Jaguars swept a four-game home series against Langston and also went 3-1 in a road series against Huston-Tillotson.

"It's good to have some success against teams that you're going to face," Ortiz said. "But this is a tournament, and anyone can be beaten on any given day."

UHV welcomes back senior Savannah Crittenden, who has been out since mid-February with a broken ankle. The LaPorte native was cleared last week to participate in practice and will play right field for the Jaguars in the tournament.

"Savannah has been really important to our team over the years," Ortiz said. "We're glad to have her back and she's going to help us at the plate."

The Jaguars' offense has outscored their opponents 259-128 during this season.

Senior utility player Aubri Hockenbury leads the Jaguars.

Hockenbury owns a .393 batting average with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs. She tied the single-season school home run record to finish the regular season.

In the circle, the Jaguars will rely on senior Haley Beam (11-5), Calhoun native and freshman Kelsey Tidrick (6-1) and sophomore Michelle Revels (9-9).

Revels was named to the 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District 4 College Division Softball Team on Thursday.

She was one of four UHV players nominated for the award, which is voted on by members of CoSIDA. Also nominated were Madeline Herrera, Torey Dumont and Jordan Hoefling. She was named a 2016 All-Red River Athletic Conference scholar athlete and a three-time UHV president's list recipient where she has maintained a 4.0 GPA every semester.

"We have had a lot of time off, and we have been practicing on getting better in certain situations and working on fundamentals," Ortiz said. "We just have to go out there and give it our all each and every game we play."


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