RUSTON, La. – No one of the Texan Softball team will accept a moral victory in place of one on the left side of the overall record, but the resiliency and heart shown in the face of adversity Saturday night may prove to be a building stone for the program in year one of Division I transition.
The Texans have not shied away from facing the nation’s premier programs and again Saturday the Texans took on perennial powers Baylor and La. Tech – falling 5-1 to the Lady Bears and 9-8 to La Tech on a walk-off.
Game 1: Baylor 5, Tarleton 1
In the opener, Tarleton played Baylor – who was nationally ranked prior to this week – to a 5-1 loss in Saturday’s opener.
Tarleton managed only three hits – one each from Hallie Saintignan, Jordan Dickerson and Miranda Pruitt – while Tristan Bridges took the loss in the circle despite only allowing three earned runs in a complete-game effort. Bridges struck out four.
Game 2: La. Tech 9, Tarleton 8
Tarleton’s resiliency was on full display in the nightcap.
Tarleton came into the game off back-to-back losses to open the tournament, fell behind 7-2 to the Lady Techsters, and lost head coach Mark Cumpian after a call at home plate sparked controversy in a big moment.
But the Texans responded to take an 8-7 lead before ultimately falling 9-8 in walk-off fashion.
The Lady Techsters scored six runs over the first three innings while a Georgia Capell long ball got Tarleton on the board in a 6-2 game. In the top of the fourth, Tarleton loaded the bases with two away when Morgan Medford ripped a base hit up the middle but was called out to end the inning for being out of the batter’s box.
Cumpian disagreed with the decision and was asked to watch the remainder of the game on the bus using the Tarleton Sports mobile app.
The fiery emotion from their departed head coach appeared to spark the Texan bats in their next offensive inning. The Texans rallied with a four-run fifth inning on an RBI single from Saintignan and a three-run home run from Destiny Crumpley to pull within one at 7-6.
Julia Wernet answered the call in the circle with a shutdown inning before Katy Schaefer delivered a go-ahead, two-run double in the sixth.
The Texans came up short in the end as a couple of base hits and a Tarleton miscue allowed two runs to cross home plate and end things in the Lady Techsters’ favor.
Tarleton’s top four hitters in the lineup came up big. The combination of Capell, Saintignan, Schaefer and Crumpley went 8-16 at the plate with eight RBI, two doubles and two home runs. Maddie Goin, Jordan Dickerson and Shelby Carter had one hit each.
Tarleton will look to continue the momentum in a rematch with Baylor tomorrow at 12 p.m. in Ruston.