LAKE CHARLES – Taylor Schmidt and Morgan Catron had the two big hits in separate games for the McNeese softball team to help the Cowgirls post a double header sweep over Central Arkansas, 8-0 and 6-2, to open up Southland Conference play on Friday night.
Schmidt hit a two-out, fourth inning grand slam in the first game to spark the Cowgirls to an 8-0, 6-inning win. But not to be outdone, Catron blasted a three-run, first inning homer in game two as McNeese posted a 6-2 win in the night cap.
The Cowgirls (15-10, 2-0 SLC) will go for the series sweep on Saturday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m., weather permitting.
Rachel Smith (5-4) picked up the win in the circle in game one after throwing the shutout while allowing just one hit, that coming to lead off the fourth inning to snap the no-hit attempt. She also struck out a season-high eight batters.
Right fielder Justyce McClain and Schmidt each had two hits in the game while Schmidt finished with four RBI while scoring two runs.
The Cowgirls took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Hailey Drew led off the game with a single then scored on a single by Tori Yanitor.
That would be the score until the fourth inning when the Cowgirls sent 10 batters to the plate with five of those scoring.
First baseman Megan Holmes started things off by reaching on a one out fielding error by the UCA shortstop. McClain and Carleigh Chaumont followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. Smith walked to score Holmes and make it 2-0 then Schmidt plastered the grand slam off the top of the scoreboard to clear the bases and put the Cowgirls up 6-0.
Two innings later, Taylor Edwards, hitting for Smith, and Schmidt led off the sixth by reaching on a HBP by Edwards and Schmidt belting a double. Marissa Taunton, hitting for Drew, reached on an error as Edwards scored to make it 7-0, then a sacrifice fly by Piancastelli scored Schmidt to make it 8-0 and put the run-rule into effect.
In the second game, Catron put the Cowgirls on top early with her three-run home run, her sixth on the season, to make it 3-0.
After Tori Yanitor flied out to right field, Baylee Corbello reached by way of a walk and later scored on a Schmidt single to put the Cowgirls up 4-0 after the first inning.
UCA (7-16, 0-2) starting pitcher Kailla Searcy hit a solo home run to lead off the top of the second to cut the margin to 4-1 then the Bears plated a second run in the fifth to make it 4-2.
The Cowgirls added two more runs in the sixth as starting pitcher Alexsandra Flores closed things out to improve to 5-2 on the season after tossing the complete game.
Piancastelli ended the game going 3-for-4 with two runs scored while Catron was 3-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored. McClain added another multi-hit game by going 2-for-4.
The wins were the 12th straight over the Bears dating back to the 2013 season.