STEPHENVILLE – One was exhilarating. One of inevitable. Both were checks in the win column.
Tarleton won both games of the opening day of the Whataburger Invitational on walk-off hits as the Texans survived 2-1 against the Orange after being down to their final strike before walking off early in the nightcap.
Game 1: Tarleton 2, Syracuse 1
In a battle of undefeated teams, Tarleton walked away unscathed with back-to-back home runs from Brittany Coe and Miranda Pruitt to hand the Orange their first loss of the season.
It was a monumental night for Tarleton Softball, who played their first game on the newly-renovated turf field, and the Texan faithful were treated to a pitching duel of elite proportions.
Tristan Bridges and Lindsey Hendrix went punch for punch over the first six innings of the game.
Hendrix got one run of support on a two-out, run-scoring error by Tarleton in the fourth to take a 1-0 lead that held into the bottom of the seventh. Bridges allowed minimal damage for the night with just that lone unearned run on two hits.
Despite having a scoring threat halted in the sixth when Georgia Capell’s scorching line drive was caught with two outs and runners on the corners, the Texans’ perseverance showed up in the seventh.
Down to her final strike in a full count, Coe delivered her first career long ball to tie the game at 1-1. Two pitches later, pinch-hitter Pruitt followed suit with a jack of her own to give Tarleton the win.
Tarleton had seven hits for the day with two coming from Katy Schaefer. Amanda DeSario, Capell, Coe, Pruitt, and Tristan Trull accounted for the other five.
Game 2: Tarleton 10, Prairie View A&M 2 (6)
The nightcap appeared primed to be closer than anticipated after three innings, but the Texans pulled away with seven unanswered runs over the final three innings to seal the deal in six innings.
The Panthers struck for one in the first and one in the third off Tarleton starter Reagan Chism, but that is all as the right-hander settled in nicely for a complete-game victory. She went all six innings and struck out five for her second win of the season.
Tarleton’s offense picked up where it left off in game one as Pruitt went yard for the second time in the doubleheader with a three-run job to left center to put Tarleton on top. More home runs padded the lead in the fourth when Tarleton scored five on an error, a three-run Brady Rowland homer, and a solo long ball from Schaefer to extend the lead to 8-2.
Tarleton scored one more in each of the next two innings – an RBI double from Schaefer and an RBI, pinch-hit single from MacKenzie Peterson in the sixth to end it.
Rowland and Schaefer combined for four hits and five RBI in the game while Morgan Medford, Capell, Ashlee LaRue, Pruitt, Hallie Saintignan and Peterson rounded out Tarleton’s 10-hit attack.
The Texans will return to play tomorrow night in Stephenville with games against Alabama State and Prairie View A&M at 5 p.m.
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