STEPHENVILLE – Houston Baptist got the bats going early and never relented during Saturday’s doubleheader at the Tarleton Softball Complex, as the Texans dropped the pair to fall to 29-23 on the year.
This was the regular season finale for both teams. Tarleton will await the decision of the National Invitational Softball Championship selection committee to see if their season will continue in Fort Collins, Colorado. The NISC selection will take place Sunday, May 15. Houston Baptist (16-27) will play in the Southland Softball Tournament this upcoming week.
Houston Baptist 9, Tarleton 7
The Huskies scored early and often in the opener, staving off a late Tarleton rally to take the first game 9-7.
In the first, Caitlyn Brockway doubled to left field to score Shelby Echols, making it 1-0 HBU. Tarleton starting pitcher Tristan Bridges settled down and struck out three batters in the inning to limit the damage to just the lone run.
Houston Baptist scored a pair in each of the second and third innings to make it 5-0, while starting pitcher Lyndie Swanson never faced more than four batters in an inning through the first four.
In the top of the fifth, Haylie Savage broke the game open with a three-run home run to make it 9-0 HBU. In danger of being run-ruled, Tarleton battled back and made things interesting. Amanda DeSario doubled home Hallie Saintignan to make it 9-1. Then Katy Schaefer cleared the loaded bases with a double to keep the Texans alive at 9-4 Huskies.
In relief, Reagan Chism shut down HBU in the sixth and seventh innings. In the bottom of the seventh, Austin Germain doubled two home to make it 9-6, then Tristyn Trull had an RBI groundout to make it 9-7. With the tying run at the plate, Tarleton flied out.
Swanson earned the win (8-7), allowing seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits, walking four, hitting a batter and striking out two in 6.0 innings. Sarah Venker earned her second save of the year. Bridges took the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks, striking out four, in 2.2 innings.
Schaefer went 1-for-3 with 3 RBI. Miranda Pruitt went 2-for-2 off the bench. DeSario and Brady Rowland each went 2-for-3 with a walk, with DeSario earning an RBI. Germain, Saintignan, Morgan Medford, Georgia Capell and Paige Nunes each had a hit.
Houston Baptist 6, Tarleton 3 (8 Innings)
The second game was far different in flow, although the Huskies kept their hot bats on a hot day in Stephenville, winning the regular season finale for both teams 6-3 in eight innings.
Houston Baptist had 15 hits, although Tarleton was able to get through most of the traffic on the base paths.
It was the Texans scoring the first run of the game in the second inning on a Pruitt single, scoring Browland. Tarleton starter Chism didn’t allow a run until the fourth inning, although the first was unearned, as the Texans committed one of three errors in the game to help HBU out. The Huskies scored a pair in the fourth to lead 2-1.
Tarleton answered in the bottom half via some HBU help as well, with Trull scoring on an error to make it a 2-2 game. HBU took the lead right back in the fifth, with Avery Drake sending a double down the third base line to score Jasie Roberts.
Down 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Pruitt earned her fourth hit of the day in a big way, sending a shot over the center field wall to tie the game 3-3 and keep Tarleton alive.
In extras, the Huskies scored three runs on three hits, an error and a walk to make it 6-3, which was the final.
HBU’s Madison Cotton went the distance, improving to 4-9 by tossing eight innings of three-run (two earned), seven-hit softball, striking out two and walking two. Chism (7-5) was tagged with the loss, going 7.1 innings, allowing six runs (two earned), 15 hits, and a hit by pitch.
Pruitt went 2-for-3 in the second game to go 4-for-5 on the day. She had two RBI in the second contest. Medford, DeSario, Schaefer, Rowland and Trull each added a hit apiece.
It’s the waiting game for Tarleton next week, all the way until Sunday, May 15, actually, before they find out if they are selected to play in the NISC.