Special to The Flash
GRAND PRAIRIE (February 10, 2017) – In the North Texas Bash, a tournament showcasing some of the region’s top softball programs, the TexAnns made themselves known by earning a day one sweep of Oklahoma Christian and Lubbock Christian.
“Our pitching staff did a great job today,” said first-year Tarleton State head coach Mark Cumpian. “Haley (Freyman) and Kayleigh (Williams) – and Nyka Wood, as well – did an awesome job of keeping two good hitting teams off balance. Offensively, we came through on some big situations and were able to push some runs across. I’m really proud of the day we had and now we need to keep the same kind of energy going into tomorrow’s games.”
Haley Freyman started Tarleton’s second tournament of the season in the exact same way she started the first one – a complete game shutout.
Freyman was masterful from the circle as the junior right-hander carved up the Eagles to the tune of seven flawless innings, allowing only four hits and one walk while striking out three. She forced eight flyouts and nine groundouts along the way.
Meanwhile, her offense provided plenty of support.
Maddie Quintanar turned a strikeout into a double on the second at bat of the game when the freshman outfielder reached first on a strike-three passed ball and then stole second base. After a walk to Amanda Conner, both runners moved up one more base on another passed ball before Nyka Wood took advantage of the RBI opportunity with a single into center field for a 1-0 Tarleton lead. The TexAnns added one more in the second when Marisa Flores scored from third on a wild pitch for a 2-0 Tarleton advantage after two innings.
The pitching was in control over the third and fourth innings, but the TexAnn offense separated themselves in the fifth when Quintanar sparked another rally with a bunt single and a stolen base before Wood brought her in to score once again with an RBI double for a 3-0 advantage. Kadyn Kirkpatrick tacked on another run with a sacrifice fly to bring home Meghann Wrinkle for a 4-0 lead after five.
Tarleton scored one more insurance run in the sixth when Kaitlyn Thomas led off the inning with a single and worked her way around to score on a stolen base, a groundball out, and a fielding error that allowed her to come across for the 5-0 advantage.
Quintanar and Wood led the way with a pair of two-hit performances while Flores, Thomas, and Avery Mullendore had one hit each for the TexAnns.
Game 2: Tarleton 12, Lubbock Christian 2 (5)
In the second game of the tournament opener, the TexAnn offense came to play from the get-go – sparked by the first career home run from freshman TexAnn, Kadyn Kirkpatrick.
After Lubbock Christian scored first with an RBI single in the opening frame, Tarleton answered with a run in the bottom of the first as the Quintanar-Wood combination went for its third score in Friday’s doubleheader. Quintanar led things off with a walk and eventually came around to score on a Wood RBI double to tie things up at 1-1.
Tarleton starter Kayleigh Williams answered Tarleton’s run with a shutdown inning in the top of the second and her offense rewarded her with an 11-spot in the bottom of the second.
An early-inning error opened the flood gates as a throwing miscue allowed the first run to come across and load the bases for Savannah Stech. The senior third baseman from Mansfield answered the call with a bases clearing double into center field. After a Conner single, Stech came in to score Tarleton’s fifth run of the inning on an RBI single from Wood for a 6-1 TexAnn lead.
Tarleton loaded the bases before Megan Durante moved everyone around one base with an RBI single to set up freshman Kadyn Kirkpatrick with the bases juiced. The newcomer from Aledo cleared the bags with one swing of the bat as she belted her first career home run – a grand slam down the left field line to push the Tarleton lead to 11-1. Marisa Flores came in to score the final run of the inning on a throwing error for a 12-1 advantage after two innings.
Meanwhile, Williams was dealing from the circle. The junior transfer earned her first career win with five innings of work, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts.
Tarleton boasted a 12-hit attack at the dish and took advantage of five Lubbock Christian miscues. The TexAnns got two-hit performances from Conner, Wood, and Thomas while Stech, Mullendore, Kirkpatrick, and Flores recorded one hit each. Stech and Kirkpatrick combined for seven of the team’s nine RBIs on the night.
Tarleton will return to action tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. against Colorado Christian.