STEPHENVILLE – A seventh-inning rally, capped off by a walk-off three-run homer by Nyka Wood, lifted Tarleton to a thrilling win in the nightcap of Tuesday's doubleheader split with No. 3 St. Mary's.
Game 1: No. 3 St. Mary's 5, Tarleton 0
Tarleton couldn't cash in on its scoring opportunities and suffered a shutout at the hands of No. 3 St. Mary's in the opening game of Tuesday's doubleheader in Stephenville.
Kayleigh Williams danced out of early danger and kept Tarleton within striking distance over the first six innings as the junior right-hander allowed just a pair of sacrifice flies over the opening six frames. The Rattlers added a three spot in the top of the seventh to pull away and hand Williams the loss after a complete game with three strikeouts.
Meanwhile, the offense managed five base hits including two each from Avery Mullendore and Nyka Wood in the 2-3 spots of the TexAnn lineup. A single from Savannah Stech was the only other hit for the TexAnns, who stranded eight runners on base for the game that included a bases-loaded opportunity in the bottom of the sixth.
Game 2: Tarleton 5, #3 St. Mary's 4
With two outs, two on, and Tarleton trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh – Nyka Wood decided she'd had enough of being behind on the scoreboard.
The junior catcher wasted no time in unloading on the first pitch she saw from Staci Johns and walking Tarleton off as a 5-4 winner against No. 3 St. Mary's in Stephenville Tuesday night.
Except for an RBI groundout in the top of the third, Haley Freyman was aces over the first five innings of the game as the Tarleton right-hander stayed right with the No. 3 Rattlers in a 1-0 game heading into the sixth inning.
St. Mary's beat out a play at the plate in the top of the sixth to go up 2-0, but Tarleton answered with some offense in the bottom of the inning.
Tarleton loaded the bases with one out, but the first of two late-inning controversial calls came at the plate when an outside strikeout was called with the bases loaded. The TexAnns were able to get one on the board with a bases-loaded walk from Stech to pull within one heading into the final frame.
The Rattlers scored two in the top of the seventh to take a 4-1 lead, but the TexAnns would not go down without a fight.
Kadyn Kirkpatrick got the inning started with a double down the right field line. It was the second hit of the night for the true freshman, whose single up the middle was Tarleton's only base hit over the first five innings.
Kirkpatrick came around to score on a single and a throwing error that allowed Kaitlyn Thomas to reach and move to second with one out in the inning. After a pop-up, Avery Mullendore drew a two-out, full-count walk to keep the game going for Wood – who promptly ended it with one swing.
Kirkpatrick and Thomas each had two hits for Tarleton while Maddie Quintanar and Wood had one each. Freyman earned the win in the circle for the TexAnns.
Tarleton will host No. 7 West Texas A&M to town this weekend for a three-game series, beginning Friday at 7 p.m. in Stephenville.