LUBBOCK – Tarleton’s resilience was on full display in Lubbock Saturday afternoon as the Texans came from behind – not once, but – twice to defeat Conference USA member UTEP and Big XII foe, Texas Tech.
This is Tarleton’s fifth Big XII opponent of the season and first victory in school history over a B12 opponent.
Game 1: Tarleton 6, UTEP 4
UTEP jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead but Tarleton answered back with six unanswered runs to take the 6-4 win.
Tarleton got on the board in the third when UTEP traded a run for two outs on a double play, but that was enough to spark the Tarleton offense. That began the run of six unanswered runs, which was heavily aided two innings later when Destiny Crumpley tied the game with a three-run home run.
The long ball proved to be friendly for the Texans as Mackenzie Peterson launched a solo job in the fifth to take the lead before the Texans grinded out an insurance run in the sixth for a little scoreboard cushion.
Tristan Bridges polished off the victory by working around a two-out single to seal the deal.
Tarleton managed eight hits on the day with Morgan Medford accounting for two. Crumpley led the team with a four-RBI performance, which joins Miranda Pruitt as the only Texans with four-RBI games this season.
Julia Wernet through the first 1.2 innings of work before turning things over to Bridges, who was splendid in relief. The left-hander from Denton turned in 5.1 innings of work, allowing five hits and no earned runs while striking out a pair.
Game 2: Tarleton 11, Texas Tech 9 (8)
In the nightcap, Tarleton put an emphatic end to their drought against Big XII opponents and earned the first victory in program history against a school from that conference with an 11-9, extra-inning, comeback win over Texas Tech at Rocky Johnson Field.
Texas Tech jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead after the first, but on Saturday, four-run deficits proved to be just the beginning for Tarleton.
Tarleton got one back on an RBI from Jordan Dickerson but Tech answered with one in the fourth to keep their lead at four after four innings of work.
In the fifth, the Texan bats exploded.
Tarleton loaded the bases with no outs before Hallie Saintignan drove in the first run of the inning on an RBI single. Two batters later, Crumpley smashed a two-run single up the middle to bring the Texans within one at 5-4. Mackenzie Peterson had the game-changing swing of the inning when her three-run home run to left turned the game on its ear and gave the Texans a 7-5 lead.
Tech answered with two in the fifth. After a Miranda Pruitt long ball gave Tarleton the lead again, the Red Raiders responded with another run to eventually force extra innings after a clean seventh from both sides.
In the eighth, the tiebreaker rule went into effect and placed Morgan Medford on second base to begin the inning. Two batters into the inning, Pruitt drove her home to put the Texans on top 9-8 but the Texans wouldn’t settle there.
Saintignan drove in two more runs with a two-run single to give the Texans a three-run cushion heading into the bottom of the eighth. Tristan Bridges completed her masterful, eight-inning performance by allowing only the placed runner to score in the final frame and complete the win for Tarleton.
Tarleton smashed out 14 base hits against Tech with two-hit performances from five different Texans – Saintignan, Katy Schaefer, Medford, Pruitt and Bailee Riggs. Georgia Capell, Crumpley, Peterson and Dickerson had one hit each. Saintignan and Peterson led the team with three-RBI efforts while Pruitt and Crumpley each drove in a pair.
Bridges went all eight in the circle as she earned her fifth win of the season with three strikeouts.
Tarleton and Tech will return to action tomorrow for a 12 p.m. doubleheader at Rocky Johnson Field.