STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton made a triumphant return to Stephenville Wednesday afternoon and notched their first-ever Division I wins by sweeping Prairie View A&M at the Tarleton Softball Complex.
Game 1: Tarleton 7, Prairie View A&M 3
Julia Wernet came out of the bullpen to stabilize the opening game of the afternoon and the senior held the Panthers in check while the offense pulled away in a 7-3 victory in game one.
Tarleton struck first with two in the first on back-to-back sacrifice flies from Georgia Capell and Destiny Crumpley. The Texans took a 3-0 lead in the second on another sac fly, this time from Medford.
The Panthers struck back with two in the top of the third to chase Tarleton starter Kallie Erwin and bring Wernet out of the bullpen with the bases loaded and one out. Wernet got a crucial strikeout and then a groundout to escape the jam with no further damage. The offense broke open with three more in their half of the third on a two-run homer from Crumpley and an RBI single from Jordan Dickerson.
The teams traded one run each the rest of the way and Tarleton locked in its first-ever win as a Division I program.
The Texans pounded out 12 base hits, led by a 3-for-3 performance from Kristen Zuehl who also drove in a run and scored one. Medford, Hallie Saintignan and Shelby Carter each had two hits while Katy Schaefer, Crumpley and Dickerson rounded out the offense with one hit each. Crumpley paced the team with three RBI.
Wernet earned the win in relief with 4.2 innings of work, allowing one run on four hits and no walks while striking out three.
Game 2: Tarleton 9, Prairie View A&M 1 (5)
The Texan offense picked right up where they left off while Tristan Bridges shut the Panthers down from the circle to complete the sweep. Destiny Crumpley drove in Destiny Salinas with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth to walk it off early by a score of 9-1.
Tarleton took advantage of eight Panther walks and capitalized with seven hits. The Texans scored in every inning of the game, starting with an odd fielder’s choice in the opening frame for the Texans first run that tied the game at 1-1. Crumpley hit a sky-high pop up that landed between three Panthers with the bases loaded that allowed Medford to score but hung Katy Schaefer out to dry at second base.
The Texans went on to score six runs over the next two innings – two in the second on an error and a bases-loaded walk from Georgia Capell – then four in the third on RBI hits from Dickerson and MacKenzie Peterson before Schaefer struck for a two-run double off the left center wall to put the exclamation point on the inning.
The Texans scored one in the fourth on a Zuehl RBI triple to right and the final one in the fifth from Crumpley and Salinas.
Meanwhile, Bridges did her job by keeping the Panthers off the board from the circle. The round-two sophomore southpaw allowed one run on three hits and struck out seven for the game while earning her first win of the season.
Schaefer paced the offense with a 2-4 outing with two RBI while Crumpley, Zuehl, Miranda Pruitt (2B), and Dickerson rounded out Tarleton’s seven-inning performance.
The Texans will return to action this weekend on an altered game schedule due to inclement weather in Denton. The Texans will now play the opening game of the North Texas Invitational Friday at 11 a.m. against Stephen F. Austin. The Texans will play UIW Friday at 4 p.m. Then rematch those teams Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. before closing out the weekend with a noon game on Sunday. No tickets will be sold for the event. Only player comp list passes will be granted.