Special to The Flash
STEPHENVILLE (March 31, 2017) – Even the term ‘ace’ was an understatement for what Haley Freyman did as the junior right-hander kept the nation’s No. 1 team off the board for 14 consecutive innings in Friday’s doubleheader sweep of Angelo State and the school’s first-ever series win over the Rambelles and a team ranked No. 1 in the nation.
“I’m not really sure which word to use – phenomenal, terrific, excellent, dominant – because Haley was all of those things tonight,” said head coach Mark Cumpian. “Haley has been huge for us since the day she stepped on campus. She’s pitched in a lot of big games in her career and tonight is just two more on that list. Megan Durante had a big night at the plate for us and, overall as a team, I thought we played really good defense and played with great intent. How we need to come out tomorrow with the same focus.”
Prior to Friday, the highest-ranked team that Tarleton has taken a series from was No. 2 West Texas A&M when the TexAnns swept the Lady Buffs in 2012 in Stephenville. It’s also Tarleton’s first-ever series win over Angelo State since the Rambelle program started in 2002.
The TexAnns’ last win against the No. 1 team in the nation was also against Angelo State when Tarleton won the last game of a three-game series 4-3 over the Rambelles on March 26, 2011.
Freyman’s big night started in the opener with a seven-single, shutout performance to give Tarleton its sixth win of the season against a nationally-ranked opponent.
The Tarleton right-hander had to do some early dancing as Angelo had a single in the first and a one-out single followed by back-to-back stolen bases in the second to set up a runner on third with one away. Freyman answered in the call with back-to-back strikeouts to escape trouble.
The pitcher’s duel between Freyman and Angelo’s Brandy Marlett stayed scoreless into the bottom of the fifth when Tarleton broke through on a two-out, RBI single into right field by Avery Mullendore to put Tarleton on top. After another shutdown inning by Freyman, Tarleton tacked on an insurance run in the sixth when Megan Durante singled into right field to score Kaitlyn Thomas from second with two away.
Freyman sat down the Rambelles in order in the seventh to cap off her 59th career win at Tarleton. She allowed seven hits, all singles, in seven innings while striking out five.
Durante led the offense with two hits and an RBI while Mullendore and Mikayla Stogsdill each had one hit.
Freyman continued to deal with seven more innings of shutout ball to secure the doubleheader sweep and notch the 60th win of her Tarleton career, joining Carla Geeslin (62) as the only two TexAnns to win at least 60 games for the purple and white.
After a two-out double and walk in the first inning, Freyman settled into a nice groove as she escaped the first inning with a flyout and then went on to sit down the next 10 consecutive Rambelle hitters heading into the fifth inning.
Meanwhile, her offense supplied her with two early runs when three errors and an RBI single from Stogsdill plated two runs for a 2-0 lead in the second.
Freyman danced out of danger in the fifth when Angelo State threatened with back-to-back one out singles, but the junior right-hander got a swinging strikeout and a groundball to Mullendore at short to keep the Rambelles off the board once again.
Her offense came to her aid with two more runs of support in the ensuing half-inning when Meghann Wrinkle led off with a triple into right field. Nyka Wood drove her home with an RBI single through the left side. Wood gave way to pinch runner Morgan Ling, who was bunted over by Stech and then driven home on an RBI double by Durante with her team-leading 10-game hitting streak.
Over the last two innings, only a controversial single in the sixth and a two-out double in the seventh was hit off Freyman and the Tarleton pitcher notched win No. 14 of the season and No. 60 in her career.
Stogsdill led the way with a two-hit effort while Wrinkle, Wood, Durante, and Flores each had one for the game.