HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana softball team swept a doubleheader to complete a Southland Conference series sweep of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Saturday afternoon at North Oak Park.
Southeastern (12-15, 3-3 Southland) bounced back from a five-game losing streak and losing nine of its last 10 games to even its league record. The visiting Islanders fell to 5-18 overall and 0-3 in league play.
“This was a good weekend for us and I was pleased with how we were able to bounce back from a rough month,” Southeastern head coach Rick Fremin said. “We were able to get some timely hits versus two pretty good pitchers.”
“I was very pleased with how our pitching staff performed,” Fremin added. “Not only in the circle, but the way they fielded their positions. All seven of our pitchers saw action this week and they all did very well.”
In the opener, junior Lacey Hill (5-5) did not give up an earned run in six innings of work to lead the Lady Lions to a 5-1 victory. Freshman designated player Mattie Ort led SLU at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance with two RBI. Junior infielder Alli Daigle also drove in a run, while junior outfielder Maddie Edmonston scored a pair of runs.
Junior outfielder Kalyn Watts hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to lead Southeastern to a 4-3 victory in the nightcap. Junior catcher Carlie Whittington added an RBI, while freshman second baseman Ali McCoy was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Freshman Tanner Wright (2-1) threw 3.1 innings of shutout relief to earn the win for the Lady Lions.
Southeastern will play its next five games away from home, starting Tuesday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Alcorn State. Fans can receive in-game updates from the twin bill in Lorman, Mississippi via Twitter at www.twitter.com/sluathletics.
Game One – Southeastern Louisiana 5, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 1
The Islanders took the lead versus Hill in the top of the first inning, loading the bases with no outs. One out later, a passed ball allowed Lacey Boyd to score the game’s first run. Hill limited the damage, retiring Mariah Clay and Kandace Johnson to keep the deficit at 1-0.
Southeastern knotted the score in the bottom of the first inning. Johnson (1-8) hit Edmonston, then the speedster from St. Amant, Louisiana promptly stole second and third. Ort tied the score with a RBI single to tie the game, 1-1.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi threatened to retake the lead in the top of the second inning. Alexis Richardson doubled, then advanced to third on a single by Lexi Shaw to put a pair of runners on with one out. Hill got out of the jam by retiring Boyd and Megan Mitchell to keep the score tied.
SLU took the lead for good in the bottom of the second inning. McCoy beat out a one-out infield single then gave way to junior pinch runner Kinsey Nichols. Whittington then laid down a sacrifice bunt down the first base line. AMCC second baseman Candice Hadd dropped the throw to first to allow Whittington to reach.
A heads up Nichols noticed that nobody was covering third and took an extra base. Hadd tried to throw her out at third, but her throw sailed away, allowing Nichols to racing home for a 2-1 lead.
Hill and Johnson matched zeroes for the next several innings, before A&M-Corpus Christi mounted another threat in the top of the sixth inning. Clay walked and Hadd singled to put the go-ahead runs on base with two outs. Hill bore down and retired Savannah Sandoval to maintain SLU’s 2-1 lead.
The Lady Lions padded their lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Edmonston led off the frame with an infield single, then advanced to third on a two-base throwing error. Johnson then hit sophomore shortstop Jaquelyn Ramon to give SLU two base runners with no outs.
Ramon then stole second and Clay’s throw hit Johnson and rolled away, allowing Edmonston to cruise home. Later in the frame, Ort and Daigle hit consecutive RBI doubles to give SLU a 5-1 lead.
The Islanders put a pair of runners on with one out versus McCoy in the top of the seventh inning. Senior Kasey Nielson came in and retired Aspen Auger and Liz Carter to close out the victory.
AMCC – 100 000 0 – 1 6 4 (5-17, 0-2 SLC)
SLU – 110 0003 x – 5 5 0 (11-15, 2-3 SLC)
Kandace Johnson and Mariah Clay. Lacey Hill, Ali McCoy (7), Kasey Nielson (7) and Carlie Whittington, Whitney Sullivan (7). W – Hill (5-5). L – Johnson (1-8). 3B – AMCC: Lacey Boyd (1). 2B – AMCC: Alexis Richardon (1); SLU: Mattie Ort (2), Alli Daigle (1). T – 1:51. A – 136.
Game Two – Southeastern Louisiana 4, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 3
For the second straight game, the Islanders jumped out to a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the top of the first inning. Boyd reached on an error to lead off the game, then scored on an RBI single by Carter.
Southeastern threatened Carter (4-10) in the bottom of the first inning. Junior infielder Mahalia Gibson tripled off the right field fence with two outs, but Carter sat down Ort to keep the Lady Lions off the board.
The Lady Lions took the lead in the bottom of the second inning. Daigle walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch to open the inning. McCoy then flared a shot just out of the reach of Boyd, who rushed her throw to first. The throw skipped into the right field corner, allowing Daigle to race home to tie the score and McCoy to advance all the way to third. Whittington singled home McCoy to give SLU a 2-1 advantage.
The Islanders retook the lead against SLU sophomore Caitlyn VanHemelryck in the top of the fourth inning. A two-run single by Shaw gave Texas A&M-Corpus Christi a 3-2 lead.
Southeastern answered in the bottom of the frame. McCoy singled to give the Lady Lions a one-out base runner. One out later, Watts lined a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence. The Hattiesburg, Mississippi native’s second home run of the season gave Southeastern a 4-3 lead.
Wright made the lead hold up. The Islanders mounted one last threat in the top of the seventh inning, as Boyd singled and Wright hit Mitchell to put the first two runners of the frame on. The Lake Charles, Louisiana native recovered, retiring to retire Auger, Carter and Clay to close out the victory and complete the series sweep.
AMCC – 100 200 0 – 3 9 1 (5-18, 0-3 SLC)
SLU – 020 200 x – 4 5 2 (12-15, 3-3 SLC)
Liz Carter and Mariah Clay. Caitlyn VanHemelryck, Tanner Wright (4) and Carlie Whittington. W – Wright (2-1). L – Carter (4-10). HR – SLU: Kalyn Watts (2). 3B – SLU: Mahalia Gibson (2). T – 1:40. A – 136.