AUSTIN, Tx (NSU) - Junior pitcher Samantha Guile held Texas at bay for the first three innings while Northwestern State snatched an early lead, but the No. 16 Longhorns pulled away in a 7-2 Lady Demons’ loss in the Texas Classic.
Guile entered the circle with a lead as junior Hayley Barbazon scored on a Texas error for a 1-0 edge in the first inning. Barbazon and sophomore Cayla Jones singled to lead off the game before Barbazon scored from third base on the error.
“We took advantage of (Texas’) error, but we could have more runs in those first two innings,” said NSU coach Donald Pickett. “We need more timely hits, and I believe it’ll happen.
“The kids are jacked up in the first weekend, and getting timely hits is something we’ll focus on. We have a lineup that will keep coming at teams with not much fall off throughout.”
Guile kept the pressure on a loaded Longhorns lineup, retiring the first eight batters she faced, including three strikeouts.
NSU put two more runners on base in the second inning on a Maggie Black walk and another Texas error, but the Longhorns avoided further trouble.
But an NSU error with two outs kept Texas’ third inning alive, and the Longhorns capitalized with a Reagan Hathaway double to tie the game, 1-1.
“I thought Samantha was really good, and she controlled the game in the first few innings,” Pickett said. “It’s her first game since last spring because she didn’t see live action in the fall, and I was pleased the way she attacked hitters.
“The error with two outs shifted momentum, and it’s a play we need to make. But we also have to do a better job of coming back when it does shift to get it back on our side.”
NSU stranded eight runners and had runners in scoring position in five of the seven innings.
Texas poured on five runs in the fourth inning to take the lead for good. MK Tedder singled in a run to go up 2-1 before a two-RBI single by Mary Iakopo broke the game open.
NSU last led a ranked team in 2017 against No. 15 Baylor in Natchitoches, an eventual 3-1 loss in eight innings.
Guile (0-1) ended the day with five runs (four earned) on five hits but flashed her potential as a left-handed pitcher with movement in her first appearance.
Freshman pitcher Sydni Larriviere made her first appearance of her career, allowing two runs in a third of an inning before fellow freshman Bronte Rhoden tossed two scoreless innings. Rhoden has six scoreless innings in her first two career outings.
The Lady Demons didn’t back down, scratching across a run in the fifth inning. After Kaitlyn St. Clair drew a two-out walk against Brooke Bolinger, freshman Riley Cantrell tomahawked a triple to left field to score St. Clair.
It was the only hit and run Bolinger allowed, earning a save to support starter Ariana Adams (four innings, one unearned run).
The Lady Demons were scheduled to face Boston College in Saturday’s nightcap, but the game was cancelled because of inclement weather.
NSU will face Boston College on Sunday at 9 a.m. and Boise State at 11 a.m.