SAN ANGELO – Kristen Zuehl had five hits and five RBI over two games to lead the fiery Texan offense on a cold day at Mayer Field. Tarleton scored 22 runs over two games and won both games of the opening day against Ouachita Baptist and New Mexico Highlands.
Game 1: No. 21 Tarleton 11, Ouachita Baptist 0 (5)
Tarleton shot out of the gate with a seven-run first inning on their way to an 11-0, run-rule victory over Ouachita Baptist in the tournament opener at the George McCorkle Challenge.
Hallie Saintignan got the offense started with a single and a stolen base. Tarleton would get a pair of runners on base with one out before Destiny Crumpley drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single.
After a hit by pitch to Morgan Ling loaded the bases, Morgan Medford coaxed a bases-loaded walk to extend the lead to 2-0 before Kristen Zuehl unloaded the bases with a double to left center and a 5-0 Tarleton lead. Jessica Lee drove in Zuehl with an RBI single and Saintignan finished what she started with an RBI single to complete the seven-run frame.
Tarleton added one more in the third on an RBI double from Georgia Capell and three more in the fourth on a wild pitch that plated a run and RBIs from Medford and Kadyn Kirkpatrick.
Meanwhile, the pitching tandem of Jordan Withrow and Julia Wernet were cruising in the circle. Withrow threw the first three innings with six strikeouts before giving way to Wernet for the last two innings. Both threw scoreless frames while Withrow earned the win.
Tarleton pounded out 11 hits with Saintignan leading the way with a three-hit day. Ling and Lee also had multi-hit games with two hits each and Capell, Crumpley, Medford and Zuehl rounded out the offense with one hit each.
Game 2: No. 21 Tarleton 11, New Mexico Highlands 1 (6)
Kristen Zuehl continued her dominance at the plate to lead the Texan offense to a day-one sweep in San Angelo.
Zuehl’s 4-4 night at the plate led the explosive Tarleton offense to its second win of the day. Zuehl was a long ball shy of the cycle as she went for two singles, a double, and a triple in her three at bats. Her third inning double came with two outs and drove in two runs. She also scored in the fifth on her leadoff triple when the throw from right field sailed into the dugout. She drove in three runs and scored one.
Tarleton got on the board in the second inning with a sacrifice fly from Jessica Lee. Tarleton tacked on three more in the third on back-to-back two-out hits from Morgan Medford and Zuehl to extend the lead to 4-0.
In the fourth, Destiny Crumpley drove in one with an RBI groundout and Morgan Ling struck for a two-run, two-out single up the middle. Zuehl’s triple and run was the final score of the night in the fifth.
Highlands scored a single run in the fifth to delay the inevitable, but Tarleton answered with three in the top of the sixth to extend the lead out to double digits. Tarleton scored on Zuehl’s fourth hit of the night – an RBI single – as well as an RBI rip through the left side from Kadyn Kirkpatrick and an RBI fielder’s choice from Hallie Saintignan.
Tristan Bridges finished things off in the sixth despite the Cowgirls loading the bases. The sophomore southpaw got a swinging strikeout to leave the bases juiced and polish off Tarleton’s fifth consecutive win.
Bridges tossed all six innings and struck out six while allowing one run.
Zuehl’s first career four-hit performance paced the offense. She is the first Texan to boast a four-hit game this season. Medford also enjoyed a career night at the plate with her first career three-hit game while Morgan Ling also went 2-3 at the dish. The 5-6-7 trio in the Texan lineup boasted nine of Tarleton’s 12 hits on the night. Saintignan, Capell and Kirkpatrick had one hit each to round out the offense.
Tarleton will get back to action tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. in a rematch with New Mexico Highlands for game three of the George McCorkle Challenge.