SAN MARCOS, Texas – Wichita State picked up two wins on opening day of the Texas State Tournament with a 12-1 win over Villanova and a 3-2 victory over Texas State in the finale Friday afternoon.
Wichita State (2-0) needed only five innings to dispatch Villanova in game one, before coming down to the final batter against a good Texas State team that features the Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year.
Lauren Lucas was stellar at the plate, going 6-for-8 in the two games with two doubles, a home run and six RBI. Sydney McKinney racked up five hits between the two games, while Addison Barnard and Lauren Mills each had three. Zoe Jones drove in three runs behind a double and home run.
Game 1 vs. Villanova
Sydney McKinney picked up where she left off in 2022 with a 4-for-4 morning with three runs scored. Lauren Lucas was a career-best 4-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and a career-high six RBI. Lauren Mills drove in three runs on a pair of singles and Addison Barnard scored three times behind two singles and a walk.
Freshmen Taylor Sedlacek and Sami Hood made their collegiate debuts and each recorded a hit. Sedlacek also picked up her first career RBI.
Lauren Howell got the start in the circle – her Shocker debut – and was one out away from a complete game shutout. Nevertheless, Howell allowed only one unearned run on three hits and four walks. She struck out four.
It didn’t take long for the 2023 Shockers to put some runs on the board. Three batters into the game, Wichita State led 3-0. McKinney led off with an infield single, Barnard followed with a single of her own and then Lucas drove them in on the first home run of the season. After a Jones double in the next at-bat, Caroline Tallent manufactured a run with a single. Taylor Sedlacek finished the inning with her first career hit and RBI to make it, 5-0.
After back-to-back scoreless innings, Wichita State broke it open in the top of the fourth. Lucas and Jones picked up RBI’s on a single and sac fly, and then a Mills two-run single upped the margin to 9-0.
Wichita State put the finishing touches on the run-rule in the top of the fifth with another Lucas double, this time a two-run laser down the left field line. Mills drove in one final run on another single to make it 12-0.
Villanova avoided the shutout in the bottom of the fifth following an error and RBI single.
Game 2 vs. Texas State
Lucas went 2-for-4 with a run to wrap up a white-hot season opener. Jones had the biggest hit of the nightcap, a two-run home run in the first inning. Barnard, McKinney, Mills, Tallent and Lainee Brown all finished with a hit apiece.
Alison Cooper went the distance, throwing all 7.0 innings to collect the complete game win. She allowed nine hits, but allowed only two runs and struck out three.
Like the first game, Wichita State jumped on the board first. With two outs in the top of the first, Jones unloaded a two-run shot over the left field fence to give the Shockers an early 2-0 lead.
After a scoreless second inning, Texas State answered with a pair of two-out hits to tie the game at 2-2.
In the top of the fifth, Barnard put the Shockers back in front on a wild pitch after a triple down the right field line.
After a couple quiet innings at the plate for Texas State, the Bobcats threatened in the bottom of the seventh. A leadoff double, followed by a bunt single had Texas State with runners on the corners and no outs. The play of the game came in the next at bat when Hannah Earls hit a chopper to Krystin Nelson at third. Nelson fired to first to record the out, and then Jones sent a laser home, gunning down the tying run at the plate. The 5-3-2 double play effectively shut down the rally, as Cooper induced a pop-up to the next batter to seal the win.
Wichita State continues play Saturday with two more games. The Shockers face Kent State at 3 p.m. and Villanova at 5:30 p.m.