GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – No. 17 Tarleton Softball is moving on to the South Central Regional Tournament finals after facing elimination twice on Friday and coming up with a pair of wins over Rogers State and tournament-host No. 3 Colorado Mesa.
The TexAnns (49-10) will play in an All-Lone Star Conference regional final against Texas A&M-Commerce on Saturday, May 12 at 1 p.m. CST. The TexAnns will have to top the Lions twice in order to win the regional. It’s the second time in program history the TexAnns have advanced to the regional championship game and the first since they won the region back in 2015.
Game 1: Tarleton 6, Rogers State 3
The TexAnns faced an early deficit on a solo home run by Rogers State in the first inning. Megan Durante’s tied the game in the top half of the second with a solo home run to left field.
After an RBI double by Rogers State in the third, Durante stepped to the plate once again, this time with a runner on first. Durante smashed a no-doubt, two-run home run to left center to give the TexAnns a 3-2 lead. Durante finished the game 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI.
Rogers State tied the game up at 3-3 with a solo home run to right field in the bottom of the sixth inning.
In the previous two games for the TexAnns, opponents scored late to win games. This time it was the TexAnns who had the answer late in the game. In the top of the seventh, Kaitlyn Thomas reached second base to start the inning on a Rogers State error. Meghann Wrinkle delivered with the go-ahead RBI single up the middle to score Thomas and make it 4-3. Nyka Wood followed with an RBI double and Tanna Huie added another insurance run with an RBI single to score Wood and give the TexAnns a 6-3 lead.
Jordan Withrow started for the TexAnns and came through with a complete game performance, including posting two of her 11 strikeouts on the final two batters of the game to clinch the win. Withrow picked up her 25th win of the season, which is a new single-season school record.
Offensively for the TexAnns, they pounded out 10 hits and were led by four players with multi-hit games: Meghann Wrinkle (2-for-4); Megan Durante (2-for-4); Marisa Flores (2-for-4); and Karli Herron (2-for-3).
Game 2: Tarleton 6, Colorado Mesa 3
Once again, the TexAnns faced elimination and this time they had to go through tournament host and No. 3-ranked Colorado Mesa to advance.
Mesa, the visitor by coin flip in the game, took the first punch with a 2-run top of the first. The TexAnns answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning on Tanna Huie’s RBI single to score Georgia Capell.
The TexAnns bats kept rolling in the second inning with three hits that provided two more runs. Karli Herron led off with a double and would later score on Maddie Quintanar’s RBI single. Capell followed with a double to left that brought home Quintanar for a 3-2 TexAnn lead.
Herron came to the plate once again in the third inning, and with a runner on, Herron smacked a 2-out, 2-run home run to left center that gave the TexAnns a 5-2 advantage.
Georiga Capell added a solo home run to center in the bottom of the fourth, giving the TexAnns a 6-3 lead. Capell finished the game 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs and two RBI.
Megan Rosewell started Game 2 for the TexAnns and went 4.1 innings, allowing only three runs to record her 18th win of the season (18-2).
Jordan Withrow came on in relief in the fifth inning when Mesa had the bases loaded with one out in a 6-3 game. Withrow struck out the next two Mesa batters looking to keep the lead intact. Withrow would go on to pick up her first save of the season, throwing 2.2 perfect innings with four strikeouts.