Tarleton State dropped a series-opening pitcher's duel before bouncing back to win a 16-8 slugfest in the nightcap of a Friday night, Lone Star Conference doubleheader against Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Game 1: Texas A&M-Kingsville 2, Tarleton 1
The Javelinas got to Tarleton starter Randi Fentress for two quick runs, and even though that is all they would get, the TexAnns couldn't muster more than one run as Kingsville took the series opener 2-1.
Fentress was touchdown up in the bottom of the opening frame after a leadoff walk and back-to-back doubles provided a 2-0 lead for Kingsville. After an error and a walk, Fentress kept the damage at two by getting a pop-up and a flyout with the bases loaded.
Meanwhile, Tarleton had its chances to get on the board but couldn't capitalize.
The TexAnns got a two-out double from Kendra Mendoza in the second, had a runner in scoring position with one out and two on with two out in the third and got a leadoff double from Amber Clifford in the fourth but couldn't bring any runs across as the Javelinas maintained their 2-0 lead.
As Fentress continued to post goose eggs, the Tarleton offense finally got on the board in the seventh inning when Mendoza led off the inning with her fourth home run of the season.
Fentress followed suit with a no-out double to left field, but was forced out on a fielder's choice before the TexAnns' rally came to an end on a game-ending, line-drive double play.
Fentress took the tough-luck loss, throwing all six innings allowing two runs on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts. After the two doubles in the first inning, Fentress allowed one hit to the Javelinas over the next five innings.
The Tarleton offense managed six hits with Mendoza recording the only multi-hit game of the night, going 2-4 with a double and a home run. Melody Mayse, Bailee Mauldin, Clifford and Fentress had the remaining hits for the TexAnns.
Game 2: Tarleton 16, Texas A&M-Kingsville 8
Tarleton State had its biggest scoring game of the season en route to splitting Friday's doubleheader and setting up tomorrow's rubber game against the Javelinas.
The TexAnns jumped all over Kingsville starter Ariel Kellogg early, scoring eight runs in the top of the first and chasing Kellogg after eight runs - five earned - on five hits and two walks in just 0.2 innings.
With one out in the top of the first, Taylor Wells came through with a bases-loaded, 2-RBI single to right field - and advanced to second base on an error in the outfield. The single plated Mikayla Stogsdill and Mauldin.
Clifford came through with an RBI base hit of her own on the very next pitch to plate Mendoza from third and put the TexAnns up 3-0.
After the fourth run scored on an error, which also allowed the bases to load up again for Tarleton, Melody Mayse unloaded the bases with a 3-RBI triple to right center for a 7-0 Tarleton lead. Mayse would come in to score during the next at-bat when Stogdill reached on an error.
Tarleton poured it on some more in the second when Erika Menchaca brought home Ashley Findorak and Clifford with a 2-RBI double and Stogsdill plated Eryn Freitas and Menchaca on a 2-RBI single of her own to give Tarleton its biggest lead of the season at 12-0.
The Javelinas started to chip away at the lead, beginning in the bottom of the third.
Kingsville got to Tarleton starter, Brenna Hennan, for two in the third, three in the fourth and two more in the fifth - which ultimately chased Hennan from the game. Fentress replaced Hennan and got the final two outs of the fifth with a fly out and a strikeout to keep the Javelinas in check.
After a scoreless sixth, Tarleton pulled away even farther with four more in the top of the seventh.
The TexAnns plated three on an RBI double by Clifford, a bases-loaded walk by Rachel Brownlow and a sacrifice fly from Mayse before an error plated the final run.
Kingsville got to Fentress for one more run in the bottom of the seventh but the senior hurler sat down the hurler to end the game.
Hennan earned the win to improve to 5-6 on the year, allowing seven runs - just one earned - on seven hits and a walk. Fentress pitched the final 2.2 innings, facing 12 batters and striking out four while allowing one run on three hits.
Tarleton had 14 hits on the day with Findorak having a career day, going 3-3 with three runs scored. Mendoza (2-3), Mauldin (2-6) and Clifford (2-4) also had multi-hit games. Along with Findorak, Clifford and Menchaca also scored three runs each while Mendoza scored twice.
Mayse, Stogsdill, Wells, Menchaca and Freitas had the rest of the TexAnns' 14 hits.
Tarleton and Kingsville met in the rubber match Saturday at 1 p.m. at Hubert Field in Kingsville. Coverage is online at yourstephenvilletx.com.