**For Immediate Release** Softball Faces Tough Competition By Laura Nelson on 02/12/2013 Stephenville, Texas—The Oklahoma Panhandle State University softball team played in the Tarleton State Invitational over the weekend, facing East Central University and the host team twice each, losing all four.

ECU 13, OPSU 5—Pitching problems plagued the Aggies in game one as four pitchers gave up 14 hits and 13 runs, eight of those earned. The Tigers loaded the bases quickly in the first inning and brought four home and followed that up with three runs in both the third and fourth while the Aggies remained scoreless. In the fourth, with runners at the corners, Lilli Ward singled to bring home Brandi Heath. Ashley Duin advanced to third on an error and crossed home on a wild pitch and then Ward scored on a Bristol Ashlock single. ECU responded with three more runs in the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, Heath singled and then Emily Vasquez homered to score them both. Vasquez had two hits for two at-bats and two RBIs. A'lex Koonce was the losing pitcher.

Tarleton 10, OPSU 0—Aggie bats went quiet in game two while the TexAnns went on a scoring binge. Tarleton pitcher Brenna Hennan tossed a complete game shutout, giving up only four hits and striking out six. Brittany Scruggs took the loss.

ECU 10, OPSU 2—ECU took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning and OPSU got on the board in the second when Kari Pitts hit a single to send third base runner Scruggs home. The Tigers had big second and fourth innings with four runs and three runs, respectively. In the fifth, Vasquez hit a two out single to advance Heath to third and then Ashlock singled to get Heath home safely. ECU put up their tenth and final run in the fifth. Pitcher Scruggs took her second loss of the tournament, scattering five hits and giving up six runs. Vasquez went 1-1 at the plate and Ashlock and Pitts each had an RBI.

Tarleton 9, OPSU 1—OPSU's lone run came in the first inning as leadoff batter Kaitlin McCool singled and advanced to second off a bunt from Ashlock, who was thrown out at first. Heath reached on an error and McCool advanced to third. Cleanup batter Vasquez was caught out and Kari Pitts was hit by a pitch to load the bases and walk McCool home. Jordan Saldana struck out swinging for the third out. Tarleton scored two runs in the first, singles in the third and fifth, and had a huge fifth and final inning with five runs. Vasquez had two hits off three at-bats and McCool went 3-1. Losing pitcher Samantha Arledge pitched a complete game, giving up 14 hits and nine runs.

The women travel to Bentonville, Ark. to play in the UAM 7-State Classic hosted by the Univ. of Arkansas-Monticello. They face nine different D-II schools over the four day tournament that runs Feb. 14-17.