STEPHENVILLE – A tale of two games led to a split for Tarleton in their first-ever WAC home softball series Friday night as the Texans lost a pitcher’s duel in the opener before walking off early on a grand slam in the nightcap.
Game 1: CBU 1, Tarleton 0
In arguably the best pitching duel of the season, Tarleton suffered a 1-0 loss in their home WAC debut despite a complete-game, one-hit performance in the circle by Tristan Bridges.
The game saw rare scoring opportunities from either side, the first real threat coming from the Lancers in the top of the fourth inning. CBU got a pair of runners on with one away. The Lancers ripped a ball right at Katy Schaefer at third, she stepped on the bag for out number two but the throw to first sailed high. A heads up play from right fielder Georgia Capell nabbed the runner at second base to end the inning.
Tarleton had a chance to take the lead in the fifth when Miranda Pruitt flied out to right field and Jordan Dickerson pushed the envelope at the plate but was called out on a bang-bang play at the plate.
In the sixth, CBU got two runners on with a walk and the only hit of the day against Bridges – a line drive off the pitcher’s glove and stayed in the infield. Bridges ended up not allowing any more damage in the inning, but a sailed pickoff attempt at third base allowed the only run of the game to come across.
Tarleton had a chance to extend the game in the seventh with a one-out walk from Schaefer and a single up the middle from Dickerson to put runners on the corners. The Texans couldn’t cash in, however, and suffered their first home loss since 2019.
Bridges went the distance in the tough-luck loss. She allowed the one infield hit and three walks while striking out one. The only allowed run was unearned. Crumpley had two singles and Dickerson added the third for the only Texan hits of the game.
Game 2: Tarleton 14, CBU 5 (5)
Dickerson capped off a seven-run fifth inning with a walk-off grand slam as the Texans vindicated game one with a 14-5 victory in game two to earn a split of the day.
CBU jumped out to another 1-0 lead in game two, this time in the second, but the Texans had answers for the Lancers (rhyme intended).
Mackenzie Peterson led off the inning with a single and the Texans eventually loaded the bases with one out before Bailee Riggs tied things up with an RBI walk. Morgan Medford followed up with a bases-loaded walk of her own to put Tarleton on top. Schaefer plated two more with a two-run single and Dickerson ripped an RBI double into left-center to cap off a five-run second for the Texans.
Over the next two innings, CBU sparked a comeback with one in the third and three in the fourth to tie things up at 5-5, but Schaefer broke the tie with the first of nine unanswered runs for the Texans. Schaefer blasted a two-run home run to give the Texans a 7-5 lead.
After Bridges sat the Lancers down in order in the fifth, Peterson sparked a big inning once again with a one-out single. Tarleton eventually loaded the bases before Capell coaxed an RBI hit by pitch for the first run of the inning.
Riggs plated a run on a fielder’s choice and then Medford dropped an RBI single down the left-field line. Schaefer was walked and then Dickerson’s mighty swing sent the Texan faithful home happy with a walk-off grand slam. Her second home run in as many weekends.
Eight of the 10 Texans who recorded an at bat in the game scored runs while Dickerson (5) and Schaefer (4) combined for nine RBI in the middle of the lineup. Schaefer, Dickerson and Peterson all had two hits while Riggs, Medford, Alexis Hoang and Hallie Saintignan had one hit each to round out the offense.
Julia Wernet went the first 3.2 innings and struck out three before giving way to Bridges, who threw the final 1.1 innings and earned the win in relief.
Tarleton and CBU will play the rubber game of the series tomorrow at noon in Stephenville.