Powerful Texans blast seven home runs to down pair of SWAC foes Saturday

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STEPHENVILLE – The Tarleton Softball Complex was temporarily transformed into a missile launching pad for the night as the Tarleton Texans slugged seven home runs in a pair of wins against Alabama State and Prairie View A&M.

Game 1: Tarleton 7, Alabama State 3
Tarleton turned on the offensive juice in the fourth inning and never looked back en route to their eighth straight win to begin the season with a 7-3 victory over Alabama State.

After Alabama State scratched out a run in the opening inning, Tarleton wasted no time tying the game as Brady Rowland answered with a solo home run in the bottom of the opening frame. The score would hold through the first three frames of the game.

The Hornets threatened in the top of the fourth, but Tristan Bridges would allow none of that. The junior southpaw got a swinging strikeout to strand the bases loaded.

In the ensuing half inning, the Texan offense exploded in the first three at bats as Brittany Coe started the inning with a tank to left center for a 2-0 lead. Then MacKenzie Peterson and Tristyn Trull went for back-to-back extra-base hits with a triple and a double to extend the lead out to 3-1 after four.

A very long home run from Katy Schaefer in the fifth extended the lead to 4-1, but the Hornets continued to buzz around. Alabama State plated one in the top of the sixth on an errant throw with two runners on to plate the run and leave runners on second and third. Bridges rose to the occasion by striking out two of the next three batters and getting a weak grounder back to her to end the inning and leave the bases loaded for the second time.

Tarleton extended the lead by three more in the bottom of the sixth with a bases-loaded fielder’s choice and walk from Rowland and Schaefer, respectively, and an RBI single from Georgia Capell for a 7-2 edge. The Hornets put up one more in the seventh, but it was too little too late for Alabama State.

Tarleton slugged out 11 hits for the game with Capell, Coe, and Trull recording two-hit performances. Morgan Medford, Brady Rowland, Katy Schaefer, Ashlee LaRue, and MacKenzie Peterson each had one hit as well.

Kennedy Ferguson earned her first start in an opener role as the right-hander pitched the first inning before turning things over to Tristan Bridges the rest of the way. Bridges threw the final six innings to earn her fourth win of the young season.

Game 2: Tarleton 11, Prairie View A&M 8

The final innings came with some offensive fireworks, but the Texans held on for an 11-8 victory over the Prairie View A&M Panthers to improve to 9-0 on the season and 4-0 on the weekend.

The Texans scored in each of the first five innings, beginning with two in the first when the Panthers dropped two-out, two-on pop up to the shortstop. Tarleton pushed their lead out to 5-1 over the next two innings with an RBI single from Brady Rowland and two solo homers from Miranda Pruitt and Georgia Capell.

After the Panthers scored one in the fourth, Tarleton punched up a five-run inning with an RBI single from Katy Schaefer, a three-run home run by Ashlee LaRue and another solo job from Pruitt – her fourth long ball of the weekend and second of the game.

Prairie View A&M scored six runs over the final three innings while the Texans managed only an RBI single from Capell, but Julia Wernet ended the game with a strikeout.

The No. 3-7 spots combined for 10 of Tarleton’s 11 hits in the game. Brady Rowland led the way with a 3-3 game while Schaefer (1), Capell (2), LaRue (2), and Pruitt (2) provided an offensive thump in the middle of the lineup. Tristyn Trull also had a hit.

Chyanne Ellett earned a win in her home debut while Wernet qualified for a save with 3.0 innings of quality work. Ellett and Wernet combined for eight of the nine strikeouts on the night with Makenzie Dunbar accounting for one.

Tarleton will close out the Whataburger Invitational tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

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