The Wildcats were swept this past weekend series against Tarleton, creating a conference record of 10-8.
The last matchup the two teams had was in early March which ended in an ACU series win, 2-1.
“I think physically we need to clean some things up,” head coach Abigail Farler said. “But it’s more mental than anything. I think we need to be able to compete every pitch of every game and stay focused and locked in to get us back on track and in a good position.”
There was a doubleheader on Friday playing at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. In game one, the Wildcats lost a close battle 1-2.
Graduate pitcher Sidney Holman-Mansell pitched for five innings, gaining her twelfth loss of the season. Holman-Mansell recorded two runs on seven hits facing 23 batters. Freshman pitcher Hannah Benavides came in the sixth inning to relieve Holman-Mansell, facing three batters allowing no hits.
The Wildcats and Texans both had a slow start but Tarleton was first on the board. With a single up the middle in the third inning, the Texans push out in front 1-0. Later in the fifth inning, Tarleton was once again able to grab the RBI, this time on a fielder’s choice, putting another run on the board, 2-0.
In the sixth inning, the Wildcats were able to secure a run. Sophomore pitcher Riley White hit a solo home run to left field gaining ACU a run but was too late and the Wildcats marked the loss, 1-2.
“We were flat and unprepared and weren’t in the best position defensively,” Farler said. “We didn’t execute offensive plans and it showed and so I thought we had a good mindset going into the weekend against Tarleton but didn’t execute it.”
In game two of Friday’s doubleheader, the Texans were able to pull out ahead of the Wildcats again, resulting in an ACU loss, 1-4.
Graduate pitcher Lauren Schiek started for the Wildcats, recording four runs in six hits and one strikeout. White came in to close for ACU, facing nine batters while allowing three hits.
Right off in the first inning, Tarleton gained three runs off of an error causing two of the three runs to be unearned. Later in the fourth inning, the Texans scored on a fielder’s choice RBI bringing the score to a sweeping 0-4.
Yet the Wildcats were not finished. In the sixth inning, Sophomore catcher Sydney Kaiser doubled to left-center field sending home a run to put ACU on the board, but it was not enough. The Wildcats lost the game 1-4.
“I want to play really high energy, really unified with a lot of communication and play aggressively,” Farler said. “I think that we’ve just kind of fallen off and lost our identity with that and I know we can produce a much cleaner brand of softball that’s fun to watch and aggressive.”
In hopes to bring out a win in this series, ACU went into Saturday’s game ready to fight for a win. Yet, Tarleton had other plans when they easily secured the win, 7-3.
Holman-Mansell started again for the Wildcats gaining two strikeouts but allowing four runs on six hits. Benavides came in to relieve Holman-Mansell but could not change the pace of the game. Benavides tallied three runs on six hits. White then closed for ACU and made two strikeouts while facing eight batters.
Tarleton started with a sweeping first inning by gaining four runs right after the other. Then in the second inning, the Texans tallied two more runs on a single up the middle and a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Wildcats started clicking in the third inning with junior outfielder Mercedes Eichelberger tripling to right-center field sending a run home. Then in the fifth inning, Tarleton put another run on the board with an RBI single.
In the sixth inning, White brought her power again sending a two-run home run down the left-field line creating the final score, 3-7.
“I was shocked to read that that was her first and second college home run,” Farler said. “Because we see that regularly from her in practice and just know that she’s capable of that but it was great to see her step up and provide some run support for us.”
The Wildcats head home to Poly Wells Field for a matchup against Texas Tech Wednesday at 5 p.m., streaming on ESPN+.