Special to The Flash
STEPHENVILLE (April 28, 2017) – With a win over UT Permian Basin and a Texas A&M-Kingsville loss to Western New Mexico, Tarleton secured a Lone Star Conference tournament berth Friday night while Haley Freyman also celebrated a personal milestone with her 63rd career win.
“I’m proud of the way we came up big when it mattered tonight,” said head coach Mark Cumpian. “It took us a while, but our offense finally got going in the seventh. Haley and Jordan were big in the circle.
“As for Haley, she’s one of those once in a lifetime kind of pitchers,” he continued. “She’s been an incredible competitor since the day she stepped on campus and everything she has accomplished in her career comes from a lifetime of hard work and dedication. But if I know Haley, she’s happier that we clinched a postseason spot tonight than of her own milestone and that is what makes her the type of player that any coach would love to have.”
Tarleton took a quick lead in the top of the second when Kadyn Kirkpatrick plated a pair on a 2-RBI single up the middle. Kirkpatrick’s hit brought home Avery Mullendore and Savannah Stech for the two-run advantage in the second.
That score held until the bottom of the sixth when UTPB struck for a two-run home run to tie the game.
The offense came to Freyman’s aid in the top of the seventh, starting with a leadoff triple from Kaitlyn Thomas. Nyka Wood set the school single-season record for RBI with her 56th run driven home, topping Monica Garza’s 2004 mark, to put Tarleton on top 3-2.
After a sacrifice bunt, Stech drove in Mikayla Stogsdill, who pinch-ran for Wood, from second base with an RBI single. She was followed up by an RBI doubles from Marisa Flores and an RBI single from Meghann Wrinkle to give the TexAnns a 6-2 advantage.
UTPB answered with a single and a double off Freyman in the seventh, but Jordan Withrow came out of the bullpen to strike out the next three batters for her second career save.
Freyman set the school’s all-time wins record with her 63rd career victory, passing Hall of Famer Carla Geesling for the most all-time. The junior right-hander went 6.0 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
Wrinkle led the offense with a 3-for-4 day at the dish while Thomas, Stech, and Kirkpatrick each had two hits while Wood, Megan Durante, and Flores had one hit each to round out Tarleton’s 12-hit attack.