HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana junior Maddie Edmonston singled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Lady Lion softball team an 8-7 Southland Conference victory over Sam Houston State Saturday afternoon at North Oak Park.
The win was the fourth straight for SLU (26-25, 12-12 Southland) and helped the Lady Lions complete the series sweep of the visiting Bearkats (20-25, 11-13 SLC). Heading into the final week of the regular season, Southeastern now has the inside track for one of the six berths in next month’s Southland Conference Tournament.
Southeastern took a 6-3 lead into the seventh inning, but Sam Houston State would not go away quietly. Tiffany Thompson powered a grand slam home run inside the left field foul pole to give the Bearkats a 7-6 lead.
Singles by junior Mahalia Gibson and sophomore Whitney Sullivan put a pair of runners on with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Junior Alli Daigle then lifted a pop fly to shallow center. A collision between the second baseman, the shortstop and centerfielder caused the ball to drop and let the tying run score.
Edmonston then battled through an eight-pitch at-bat, finally singling through the left side. SLU head coach Rick Fremin did not hesitate to send Sullivan, showing the base running aggression that has led his team to steal 326 bases over the past two seasons. The throw was a little wide of the plate and Sullivan was able to slide in under the tag for the dramatic victory.
Sullivan, Gibson and junior Kalyn Watts each had two hits apiece to lead Southeastern. Gibson led the way with three RBI, while Watts stole four bases and scored a team-high two runs.
Sam Houston State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning versus SLU freshman Tanner Wright. Megan McDonald reached on a throwing error and eventually scored on an RBI groundout by Megan Crosby.
SLU quickly answered against Bearkat starter Tayler Atkinson. Watts led off the inning with a single, then sophomore Jaquelyn Ramon and junior Kinsey Nichols drew consecutive walks to load the bases. Gibson cleared them with her team-high fifth triple into the right centerfield gap. Gibson came home on an RBI groundout by freshman Mattie Ort to give the Lady Lions a 4-1 lead.
SHSU cut into the lead in the third, as Tori Koerselman and Crosby drove in runs to pull the Bearkats within one. RBI singles by Watts in the fourth and Ramon in the sixth provided insurance runs and set up the wild seventh inning finish.
Southeastern will close its non-conference schedule with a 5 p.m. contest on Tuesday versus Southern Miss. Tuesday will be a Cane’s Challenge at North Oak Park. If the Lady Lions score two or more runs, fans will be able to redeem their coupon on game ticket at their local participating Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers for a free combo with the purchase of another of equal or greater value by the end of business on Wednesday.
LionVision subscribers will be able to access a live video stream of Tuesday’s game at www.LionSports.net/watch.
SHS – 102 000 4 – 7 9 3 (20-25, 11-13 SLC)
SLU – 400 101 2 – 8 9 1 (26-25, 12-12 SLC)
Tayler Atkinson, Lindsey McLeod (6) and Megan Crosby. Tanner Wright, Rachel Hayes (6), Kasey Nielson (7) and Whitney Sullivan. W – Nielson (2-2). L – McLeod (9-7). HR – SHS: Tiffany Thompson (6). 3B – SLU: Mahalia Gibson (5). T – 2:06. A – 225.