The Wildcats hosted Tarleton this past weekend for their first conference play meet-up, resulting in a series win, 2-1, and now hold a 6-3 record in the Western Athletic Conference series play.
On Friday night in game one, ACU secured the win, 3-0.
“I’m proud of our girls for showing up with a lot of pride and a lot of fight throughout the games, head coach Abigail Farler said. “It really wasn’t clean softball in all three games but in two of those games, we found a way to win.”
Graduate pitcher Sidney Holman-Mansell gained her eighth win from a seven-inning game. Holman-Mansell created seven strikeouts and only allowed five hits, bringing her season ERA to a 2.41.
The Wildcats started off strong in the second inning where they scored all of their runs. Freshman catcher Miranda Lista singled up the middle, creating an RBI to send sophomore catcher Sydney Kaiser home. Then freshman outfielder Isabel Martinez was hit by pitch, which created an RBI sending Lista to the home plate. Junior outfielder Mercedes Eichelberger then came up to bat, where she received an RBI walk sending sophomore infielder Miranda Davila home to bring the final score.
In game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Wildcats secured the tough win, 12-11.
Sophomore pitcher Riley White started off the game for ACU, giving up seven runs on seven hits and creating one strikeout. Graduate pitcher Lauren Schiek came in to relieve White where she lost four runs on five hits and walked three batters. Freshman pitcher Hannah Benavides came in at the end and closed for Schiek, gaining her first win of the season.
“They’ve said their motto is that they’re going to refute to lose,” Farler said. “I think that’s exactly what you saw. It was not pretty but they just refused to let that be a loss.”
Both Tarleton and ACU start off strong in the first half of the game. Tarleton was able to gain three runs off the Wildcats in the first inning, while ACU was able to also gain three runs in the first inning.
In the second inning, ACU was able to take the lead on an RBI single and a sacrifice fly, 6-3. Not long after, Tarleton stepped up in the third inning and scored four runs, with two of them being unearned.
Then in the fourth inning, the Wildcats were able to retake control of the game, gaining one run after the other to bring them in the lead, 10-7.
Tarleton, then in the sixth and seventh innings, tallied up four runs off of a wild pitch and a double to right-center field, putting the Wildcats behind.
With being down by one run, ACU had to step it up. In the bottom of the seventh inning, White tripled to right-center field, sending Lista home and bringing the score to a tied 11-11. Eichelberger stepped up to the plate, where she hit a game-winning RBI single down the right-field line to send White home, giving the Wildcats the victory, 12-11.
“I think it was really cool to see Sadie be the one to get the game-winning RBI,” Farler said. “I think that’s a leader for us offensively that doesn’t get a lot of credit.”
In game two on Saturday, the Wildcats lost a tough matchup to Tarleton, 5-7.
Holman-Mansell started for ACU again but gained the loss in 5.2 innings. Holman-Mansell gave up five hits and created six walks and four strikeouts. Benavides came in for 1.1 innings to close for Holman-Mansell to try and secure a win, but couldn’t.
ACU started strong in the first inning by going up 2-0. Later in the third inning, Tarleton secured a three-run home run that put them in the lead.
In the fifth inning, sophomore catcher Avery Miloch hit a two-run home run to put the Wildcats back in the lead, 5-3. Yet not too long after in the sixth inning, Tarleton scored three runs on an unearned ball and a wild pitch, giving them the win, 7-5.
“We are going to put some individual work in on defense,” Farler said. “There were some areas of weakness that were highlighted for us.”
The Wildcats head to Huntsville where they will take on Sam Houston for their first meetup of conference play in a Friday doubleheader at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and on Saturday at 12 p.m.