HAMMOND, La. – An excellent effort in all three phases of the game propelled the Southeastern Louisiana softball team to a doubleheader sweep of Sam Houston State Friday evening at North Oak Park.
Southeastern moved up in the Southland Conference standings with the victories, improving to 25-25 overall and 11-12 in league play. Sam Houston State fell to 20-24 overall and 11-12 in conference action.
In the opener, SLU blew open the game with a five-run fourth inning on the way to an 8-4 victory. Junior Kinsey Nichols led the Lady Lions at the plate with a 3-for-3 performance, as she, along with fellow juniors Kalyn Watts and Mahalia Gibson all drove in two runs apiece.
A 10-hit attack backed up a solid effort in the circle for freshman Alley McDonald (3-2), who allowed four runs in five innings of work. Senior Kasey Nielson threw two scoreless innings of relief for her second save of the season.
In the nightcap, Southeastern scored multiple runs in three of the first four innings of the way to a 9-3 win. Six of SLU’s 12 hits were for extra bases. Freshman Ali McCoy, freshman Mattie Ort, sophomore Whitney Sullivan and junior Alli Daigle each had two hits apiece, while McCoy and senior Mychal Truxillo led the Lady Lions with two RBI each.
Junior Lacey Hill (9-8) earned the win in the circle for Southeastern, allowing three runs over five innings of work. McCoy tossed two shutout innings in relief to close out the win for Southeastern.
The series wraps up Saturday with a 12 p.m. contest. LionVision subscribers will be able to access a live video (no audio) stream at www.LionSports.net/watch.
Game One – Southeastern Louisiana 8, Sam Houston State 4
McDonald and SHSU starter Tayler Atkinston (8-14) matched zeroes until the Bearkats struck first in the top of the third inning. Singles by Katie Andrie, Megan McDonald and Codi Carpenter loaded the bases with two outs. Tori Koerselman, who was 7-for-7 on the day for the Bearkats, then singled home Andrie to put the Bearkats up, 1-0.
The lead would be short-lived, as SLU got on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Nichols singled, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Gibson to tie the score. Gibson would later score on a Bearkat fielding error to put the Lady Lions on top, 2-1.
Southeastern busted the game open in its half of the fourth. Sullivan led off the frame with a triple, then Atkinston hit Daigle to put a pair of runners on. Watts would follow with a sharp single up the middle to score both runners. Nichols followed a bunt single by Ramon with a double down the left field line to score two more runs. Nichols would later score on a triple by Gibson to give SLU a commanding 7-1 advantage.
Sam Houston State cut the lead in half in the top of the sixth inning, as Megan Crosby hit a three-run home run to chase McDonald from the game. Nielson came in after Hill allowed two base runners and kept the lead at three by retiring Andrie, Hannah Marino and Tiffany Thompson.
SLU added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ramon reached on an error and promptly stole her league-high 51st base of the season. The throw skipped into centerfield, then SHSU’s throw to third to try to get Ramon also was wild, allowing the speedster from Channelview, Texas to come home and give SLU an 8-4 lead.
Koerselman worked a one-out walk by Nielson in the Bearkat seventh, but the Prairieville, Louisiana native bore down to retire Crosby and Ashley Goetz to close out the triumph.
SHS – 001 003 0 – 4 11 5 (20-23, 11-11 SLC)
SLU – 002 501 x – 8 10 1 (24-25, 10-12 SLC)
Tayler Atkinson, Kaitlynn Dawson (4), Jordan Franks (4) and Megan Crosby. Alley McDonald, Lacey Hill (5), Kasey Nielson (5) and Whitney Sullivan, Carlie Whittington (5), Brennan Bourgeois (6). W – McDonald (3-2). L – Atkinson (8-14). Save – Nielson (2). HR – SHSU: Megan Crosby (6). 3B – SLU: Mahalia Gibson (4), Whitney Sullivan (1). 2B – SHSU: Codi Carpenter (5); SLU: Kinsey Nichols 2 (6). T – 2:23. A – 235.
Game Two – Southeastern Louisiana 9, Sam Houston State 3
SLU jumped to an early lead against SHSU starter Lindsey McLeod (9-6) in the bottom of the first inning. Watts beat out an infield single, stole second and third and scored when Ramon singled her home. Later in the frame, Gibson drew a two-out walk and later came on an RBI double by McCoy that gave Southeastern a 2-0 advantage.
The Bearkats would quickly answer in the top of the third, as consecutive two-out singles by McDonald and Thompson, followed by a Carpenter walk loaded the bases. Koerselman then hit a sharp single to centerfield to tie the game at 2-2.
The Lady Lions quickly retook the lead with three consecutive two-out extra-base hits. With Nichols on second after a one-out walk, Ort lined a double down the left field line just out of the reach of Ashley Kopps. McCoy plated Ort with a triple, the capped the frame’s scoring on an RBI double by Sullivan that put SLU ahead, 5-2.
Southeastern took advantage of a pair of errors to add to its lead in the bottom of the fourth, plating a pair of runs to pad the cushion to 7-2.
Sam Houston State cut into the lead in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI single by Casey Kauder that pulled the Bearkats within 7-3. Truxillo came in for a pinch-hit two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning to provide the final margin, as McCoy put up two scoreless frames in relief to clinch the series for Southeastern.
SHS – 002 010 0 – 3 10 3 (20-24, 11-12 SLC)
SLU – 203 220 x – 9 12 2 (25-25, 11-12 SLC)
Lindsey McCleod, Jordan Franks (4), Casey Kauder (5) and Megan Crosby. Lacey Hill, Ali McCoy (6) and Whitney Sullivan, Brennan Bourgeois (6). W – Hill (9-8). L – McLeod (9-6). 3B – SLU: Ali McCoy (3). 2B – SLU: Mattie Ort (4), Ali McCoy (3), Whitney Sullivan (1), Alli Daigle (5), Mychal Truxillo (2). T – 2:26. A – 235.