BEAUMONT, Texas – Two big Lamar innings cost Northwestern State on Friday as the Lady Demons opened Southland Conference play with a pair of road losses.
Lamar scored nine of its 10 total runs in the third innings of 5-1 and 5-4 wins at the LU Softball Complex.
The Lady Demons (9-15-1, 0-2 Southland Conference), who have lost six straight games but four by two runs or less, are scheduled to finish the series Saturday at 2 p.m. with Lamar (9-13, 2-0) if weather allows. A 50 percent chance of rain is slated for throughout Saturday afternoon and evening.
Lamar 5, NSU 4
Senior Kellye Kincannon sparked NSU in the second game with two RBIs and a run scored, but the Lady Demons couldn’t overcome Lamar’s five-run third inning.
Kincannon became NSU’s all-time RBI leader with a double in the third inning, and her two RBIs pushed her career total to 163. She entered the series tied with former teammate Cassandra Barefield with 161.
The Lake Jackson, Texas, native plated Sidney Salmans, who made her first start in five games after battling illness. Julie Rawls started the scoring by driving in Hailee Rhodes, who singled to lead off the inning as NSU led 2-0.
But Lamar responded with a five-run inning helped by two walks, a hit-by-pitch and one of two NSU errors.
Kelly Meeuwsen drove in a run before Caitlin Terrazas drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the score 2-2.
Corina Thornton delivered a two-RBI single and took home on a double steal helped by an error for a 5-2 edge.
NSU made a late push in the sixth inning when Kincannon hit her ninth career triple (tied for fifth in NSU history) to score Rawls. Kincannon scored on a Jordan Rains RBI to cut Lamar’s lead to 5-4.
But Lamar starter Laura Napoli (4-6) held on in the seventh inning as hard hit balls found defenders.
Napoli allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits and five strikeouts.
NSU starter Micaela Bouvier (0-2) settled down after Lamar’s big inning, but the Cardinals made the most of her three walks and their nine hits.
Bouvier allowed five runs and struck out five, stranding seven Cardinals in the process.
Lamar 5, NSU 1
Free bases and errors overwhelmed Northwestern State as the Cardinals scraped together runs to win the first game.
NSU pitchers handed out six walks and one hit-by-pitch to go with three errors as Lamar did its damage on seven hits.
Starting pitcher Mikayla Brown (4-6) walked five and hit another batter in her three innings.
Lamar scored four runs in the third inning with the help of one walk, one error and one wild pitch. The Cardinals had just one hit in the inning.
With runners on the corners, Shelby Henderson and Sable Hankins laid down bunts that scored the first two runs with a third scoring on a throwing error on the second bunt.
The wild pitch brought in the fourth run as Lamar recorded just one hit in the inning.
Brown allowed four runs on three hits, five walks and one hit-by-pitch.
With reliever Hayley Barbazon in, Lamar built a 5-0 lead on a throwing error. That’s the only run (unearned) Barbazon allowed in three relief innings as she gave up four hits and a walk.
NSU senior Micayla Sorosiak provided the Lady Demons’ only run in the sixth inning when she doubled home Brittney Jones, who drew a two-out walk.
Lamar pitcher Ciera Luna (2-7) struck out seven and allowed just three hits in the complete game outing.
Brittney Jones and Jordan Rains recorded the other two hits for NSU.