The Wildcats played in the Lone Star State Invitational this past weekend, resulting in a weekend record of 1-4.
After finishing the previous tournament, I-35 Tournament, with the same 1-4 record, ACU went into this tournament with a 3-7 overall record.
“I thought we had a really rough start on Friday and then grew from there,” head coach Abigail Farler said. “I was disappointed with how we started but really proud of how we finished over the weekend.”
On Friday, the Wildcats met Texas Southern and Virginia Tech to start out the weekend. ACU previously met Texas Southern in 2021, but this is the first meeting against Virginia Tech.
When meeting Texas Southern, the Wildcats failed to gain the victory, 3-5.
ACU started off strong in the first inning, pulling in two runs to go up early on the scoreboard. The game stayed silent of runs until the fifth inning when Texas Southern was able to gain two and then three later in the sixth inning. Now falling behind in the deficit, the Wildcats were able to tally a single run in the seventh inning but it was not enough to secure the win.
Red-shirt freshman pitcher Bubba Rote started on the mound for ACU and managed to gain one strikeout and produce six walks out of the 79 pitches pitched in 4.1 innings. Junior pitcher Talia Nielsen received the loss after closing the game but was able to mark three strikeouts and gave up no walks.
In the second game on Friday, ACU hit a hard loss against Virginia Tech in the fifth inning, 0-11.
Throughout the entire game, the Wildcats were unable to get a grip on a scoring tactic putting them behind from the beginning. Virginia Tech was able to pull out in the first inning by a single run but followed it by a combined eight runs in the next two innings. With the addition of two more runs in the fifth inning, Virginia Tech run-ruled the Wildcats, causing the game to end early.
Junior pitcher Riley White threw a complete game for ACU and despite giving up 11 runs, she managed to tally two strikeouts. While Virginia Tech’s pitcher Grein was able to shut down the Wildcats to a one-hit game, almost throwing a no-hitter. Shaylee Alani was able to gain the only hit of the game for the Wildcats.
“The girls really have to fight for every opportunity that they have on the field during the week,” Farler said. “So they’re excited for each other when they each get an opportunity to go in and do something big for us.”
On Saturday, the Wildcats once again met Texas Southern and then the University of Texas in the evening. This is the first time ACU has met Texas since 2016, which resulted in a 2-1 win for the Wildcats.
Texas Southern was the first matchup for the Wildcats on Saturday, which resulted in an ACU win, 6-1.
The first two innings started off slow for both teams until the Wildcats were able to break it up by gaining three runs in the third inning. ACU managed to gain three more runs in the sixth and seventh innings, while Texas Southern was only able to gain a single run in the seventh.
Nielsen pitched a complete game for ACU, marking four strikeouts and only giving up one run in 7.0 innings pitched. While for Texas Southern, the Wildcats forced them to use three pitchers, giving their starter the loss.
In the second game on Saturday, Texas was able to pull out in front of ACU quickly, causing a run rule in the fifth inning, 0-8.
Texas did not waste any time when pulling out ahead of the Wildcats. In the first inning alone, Texas racked up eight runs. Through the next four innings, ACU failed to tally any runs and kept Texas at a halt, ending the game with the eight runs created in the beginning.
Graduate pitcher Lauren Schiek started for the Wildcats and while pitching .2 innings, gave up six runs on five hits. White came in after her to pitch for the rest of the games and recorded a single strikeout.
In the final game of the tournament for the Wildcats, ACU met Virginia Tech again on Sunday, resulting in a loss, 1-4.
The Wildcats were unable to score until the fifth inning, where they gained a single run. On the other hand, Virginia Tech marked two runs in the second inning and then tallied a run each in the fourth and fifth innings.
Nielsen started for the Wildcats with White to follow, marking a total of one strikeout and four hits between the two pitchers.
“I think that’s the biggest problem that we’ve had the last three weeks, is working our way out of a hole,” Farler said. “So we want to start really strong against ULM. It’s going to be a really great game against a good program.”
The Wildcats next take on the University of Louisiana Monroe at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Monroe, Louisana in a single game before heading to Starkville, Mississippi to partake in The Snowman Tournament.
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