STEPHENVILLE, Texas- Stephen F. Austin split the final doubleheader of the regular season against Tarleton. SFA finishes the regular season with a 27-22 record (15-9 WAC), while Tarleton finishes with a 30-26 record (13-11 WAC).
Tarleton jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the first and tacked on one in third, two in the fourth, and one in the fifth as they held a 5-0 lead going into the sixth inning. Mikaelah Burkland got the ‘Jacks on the board in the sixth inning when she hit a single back to the pitcher which scored Madison Nguyen from third, 5-1. In the seventh, Gaby Garcia stepped up to the plate and blasted a home run over the center field wall, 5-2. With that home run, Gaby Garcia broke the single-season record with 16 home runs hit in a single season and she wasn’t done yet.
Camryn Middlebrook led the team with two hits, while five other Lumberjacks recorded a hit. Garcia and Burkland were the only two to record an RBI. Alexis Telford recorded the loss after she pitched 4.2 innings, allowing nine hits, five runs, and struck out two batters.
Game two started off with a bang as Garcia hit a no-doubter over the wall in right center to put SFA up 1-0. That was Garcia’s 36th career home run which means she is now tied for the career home run record at SFA with Brittany Lewis and Briana Bishop. Burkland would drive in two more in the second inning with a double to right center, 3-0. Mackenzie Bennett also recorded a RBI when Tarleton walked her while the bases were loaded, 4-0. In the fourth Lexi Benson stepped up to the box with runners on second and third and hit a sacrifice fly to left field which allowed Garcia to score, 5-0. The Texans were not going away without a fight as they scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game up. Tarleton added two more in the fifth to take a 7-5 lead. The SFA bats did not stay silent for long as Middlebrook tripled to right center and then Garcia drove her in on a single, 7-6. Bennett smashed a home run over the right center wall to score the go-ahead run, 8-7. Benson then hit a double to left center and Sydnee Hebert was able to drive in an insurance run, 9-7. Sophie Hannabas finished out the game with two scoreless innnings as SFA held on for the series win over Tarleton.
Bennett led the team with three hits and three RBIs, while Garcia, Burkland, and Hebert followed with two hits. Garcia and Burkland also recorded two RBIs while Hebert and Benson recorded one. Hannabas recorded the win as she came on in relief for Brooke Gainous. Hannabas pitched 3.0 innings, allowed three hits, one earned run, and struck out one batter.
SFA will head to Phoenix next week to begin their WAC Championship run. The ‘Jacks will be the No. 3 seed and will face the winner of No. 6 Sam Houston vs No. 7 UT Arlington. SFA will play on Wednesday, May 10th at 6:00 p.m. central time.