A throwing error in the bottom of the seventh inning proved costly for Texas A&M-International as the Dustdevils dropped a 2-1 decision to Fort Hays State on Friday. The Tigers victory opened the Holiday Inn at the Falls/MSU Invitational at Burkburnett High School.
Pitching would hold the upper hand through most of the game as the Dustdevil’s Sarah Johnson and the Tigers’ Maddie Holub sparred from the circle. Both pitchers would also have to work their way out of trouble early.
Holub got off to an inauspicious start by hitting lead off batter Rochelle Nash who promptly stole second base. After striking out the next two batters, Holub issued a walk to Samantha Carillo to put runners on first and second.
Holub’s third strikeout of the inning ended the threat. Johnson would get in trouble in the bottom of the first inning, giving up a single and hitting two consecutive batters to load the bases with two outs. The freshman escaped the inning unscathed, getting Adriana Wortley to fly out and end the inning.
Regina Morales wasted little time getting the Dustdevils on the scoreboard in the top of the second, leading off the inning with her first home run of the season. The 1-0 TAMI lead would hold until the bottom of the seventh as both teams were held to a combined five hits through the top of the inning.
Taylor Nelson led off the bottom of the seventh for the Tigers with a single, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kellsi Olsen. With a runner in scoring position and Holub coming to the plate, Dustdevils head coach Scott Libby pulled Johnson in favor of Mariena Gallardo.
Nelson would move to third on a wild pitch to put the tying run 60 feet away. Holub would draw a walk, then steal second to put runners on second and third with Chelsey Rottinghaus at the plate.
Both runners moved on contact as Rottinghaus hit a ground ball to second. Dustdevil’s second baseman Kristen LaBuhn fired the ball home, but the throw got past catcher Dominique Salazar allowing Nelson to score the tying run.
Holub never stopped, coming around to score the winning run on the play.
Gallardo would take the loss in relief, not giving up a hit as she fell to 0-4 on the season.
Johnson struck out six and walked two, giving up six hits in 6.1 innings in the no decision.
Holub improves to 2-0, giving up one earned run, striking out nine and walking two while holding the Dustdevils to three hits.
It was the ninth consecutive loss for Texas A&M-International as they fell to 3-11 on the season.
Fort Hays State improved to 3-0.