March 9, 2014
Fullerton, Calif. - The 49ers were down 3-1 against Texas with two innings left, but back-to-back home runs from Ashley Holmes and Darian Tautalafua tied up the game in the sixth, and Ashlynn Booker ended it with a towering home run to center field in a 4-3 walkoff victory.
Texas (14-13) took an early 1-0 lead after a solo home run by Mandy Ogle in the second inning, and pushed across a second run in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Erin Shireman. The Longhorns also threatened in the fourth inning, with two runners in scoring position after a double from Devin Tunning, but Erin Jones-Wesley closed the inning with a clutch strikeout to end the threat.
The 49ers pulled back one run in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Mattie Scheele hit a pinch hit single to the wall with no outs. Two straight sacrifices moved a re-entered Leilani Tupua-Tautalatasi to third, where she scored on an RBI single from Hannah De Gaetano.
An RBI triple by Taylor Thom added an insurance run for the Longhorns in the sixth, but Jones-Wesley was again able to limit the damage to keep the game within reach.
Long Beach State (16-7) roared back in the bottom half of the inning. Texas had changed pitchers to Lauren Slatten in the last frame, and she surrendered a solo homer to center field to Holmes, and then in the next at-bat, Tautalafua hit a rocket down the left-field line that just cleared the wall to tie the game. The 49ers would eventually load the bases, but failed to take the lead in the inning as Slatten escaped in the sixth.
After Jones-Wesley worked through a scoreless seventh inning however, Slatten faced off with another power hitter in Booker, and the senior won that battle, blasting a monster shot that forced the Longhorns to simply turn and watch to close out the weekend with a win for the 49ers.
Long Beach State continues tournament play next weekend, traveling to San Diego State for five more non-conference games beginning Friday against UT-Arlington and San Diego State.
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