Tarleton dominates opening day in return to softball diamond

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GREENVILLE, SC – Tarleton was in complete control from first pitch to last pitch with an opening-day sweep of Bellarmine and Maryland Eastern Shore.

Game 1: Tarleton 4, Bellarmine 0

Tristan Bridges was nearly untouchable in her season debut as the Texan southpaw twirled a complete-game, two-hit shutout.

Bridges retired the first seven batters of the game before allowing a soft single up the middle. The junior was unphased as she sat down the next two in order to limit the threat. Bellarmine’s biggest threat of the game came in the next inning when the leadoff hitter started things with a single and stole second, but Bridges got back-to-back pop-ups and a grounder to keep the Knights off the board.

The only thing Bellarmine could muster over the next three innings was a one-out walk in the seventh as Bridges polished off her first win of the season with seven strikeouts.

Meanwhile, the offense came to life starting in the fourth inning when Georgia Capell drove in the first run of the season with an RBI double to left center. The Texans took advantage of two errors in a three-run fifth to extend its lead out to the game-winning 4-0 score.

Capell, Morgan Medford and Ashlee LaRue had the only base hits for the Texans in the opener.

Game 2: Tarleton 13, Maryland Eastern Shore 1 (5)

Tarleton scored early and often to spoil Maryland Eastern Shore’s season opener 13-1 in five innings.

After a walk and an error started things off for Tarleton offensively, Brady Rowland started her impressive game at the dish with an RBI single up the middle to kick off the eight-run first inning for the Texans. Two errors in the inning opened the flood gates for an RBI groundout by Katy Schaefer, a two-run single from Ashlee LaRue, a two-run single from Tristyn Trull, and a two-run single from Rowland – who finished what she started in the inning.

After a shutdown bottom half from Reagan Chism, Tarleton put five more in the run column in the top of the second on six singles and a walk. Capell led off the inning with a walk and Trull drove her home with an RBI single. Morgan Medford cashed in a pair with a two-run single before Rowland and Schaefer capped the scored with RBI singles of their own.

Eastern Shore plated one run in the seventh by taking advantage of a throwing error but it was too late to mount a legitimate rally effort as the Texans took the win.

Chism earned the win in the circle in her debut with three innings of two-hit shutout ball with a strikeout. Kennedy Ferguson also made her Texan debut and delivered two innings of relief, striking out five.

Every Texan starter recorded a base hit in the game with Rowland leading the way with a 3-3 day at the dish and four RBI. Trull wasn’t far behind with a 2-2 outing and three RBI. Medford, Amanda DeSario, Schaefer, Capell, Makayla Romeo, LaRue, Alexis Hoang, Miranda Pruitt, and Hallie Saintignan rouded out the 14-hit effort for the purple and white.

Tarleton will return to action tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. CT in a rematch with a Hawks before taking on tournament-host Furman immediately after in a game that will now be aired on ESPN3.

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