STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton completed a dramatic walk-off to sweep day two of the Whataburger Invitational Saturday after drubbing Texas A&M-Commerce 8-0 in the first game and defeating Akron 4-3 in the second game.
“That was exciting,” said head coach Mark Cumpian. “Akron is a well-coached team and they’re never out of a game because of how hard they compete. I’m proud of the fight our team showed and the resiliency they showed. We had an answer and we stay to our approach. I’m very proud of this team.”
Game 1: Tarleton 8, Texas A&M Commerce 0 (5)
Tristan Bridges shutout the Lions in five innings with seven strikeouts while the hot bats of Kelci Hill and Kayla Wallace combined for seven RBI.
Wallace hyped up the crowd in the second inning when she smacked the ball over the right field wall to get the Texans on the scoreboard at 2-0. She picked up one more RBI in the third inning off a single up the middle, finishing the game with three hits and three RBI on four at bats.
Hill also had a stellar game. The Texan centerfielder drove in four with a double and a triple and scored two runs.
Meanwhile, Bridges was a problem for the Lions. She earned her third win and second shutout on the season. Her seven strikeouts against Texas A&M Commerce moved her into a tie for fifth all-time with Samantha Swanda at 349.
Mackenzie Peterson boasted a two-hit performance at the plate and scored two runs while Austin Germain earned one hit and notched two runs. Katy Schaefer picked up an RBI double in the fourth inning to put Tarleton in run-rule position.
Game 2: Tarleton 4, Akron 3
Austin Germain ripped a walk-off double over the leftfielder to lift Tarleton past Akron 4-3 in a thrilling day-two finale.
Germain not only drove in the final run of the night, but she touched home plate to kick off the scoring in the first. She had a one-out single and ultimately came around on an RBI single from Katy Schaefer.
Two innings later, Tarleton extended the lead with back-to-back RBI singles from Kelci Hill and Schaefer to plate Morgan Medford and Germain for a 3-0 Tarleton lead.
While the Zips kept Tarleton off the board for the next three innings, they managed to tack on three of their own with one in the fifth and a game-tying two in the top of the seventh.
The Texans had their answer, though.
MacKenzie Peterson led off the inning with a walk and then moved to third when Morgan Medford dropped a bunt in front of the catcher. Medford outran the throw for a single but the ball skipped away and allowed Peterson to reach third, bringing up Germain with runners on the corners and no one out.
Germain crushed one over the head of the leftfielder for Tarleton’s eighth straight win.
All 10 Tarleton hits came from the top four in the lineup. Germain and Schaefer each had three-hit games while Medford and Hill had two hits apiece.
Grace Garcia earned the win after coming into the game in the top of the seventh with runners on first and second with one out. Brady Rowland threw out a baserunner attempting the steal third and then Garcia got a grounder to Medford to end the inning. Garcia came on in relief of Kennedy Ferguson, who fired 6.1 innings. She allowed three runs on 10 hits and two walks with one strikeout.
Tarleton will close out the Whataburger Invitational tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. against Texas A&M-Commerce.