HOUSTON, Texas – Northwestern State entered Friday’s doubleheader winners of its last three Southland Conference series, but that streak ended with a sweep at the hands of Houston Baptist.
NSU dropped decisions of 8-3 and 8-0 (six innings) to the Huskies on a day when the sixth-place Lady Demons could have further solidified one of six SLC Tournament spots.
Now NSU (20-29-1, 10-13 SLC) will likely need to win a majority of its four remaining games, starting with the series finale against HBU (17-22, 8-15 SLC) on Saturday at noon.
HBU 8, NSU 3
Senior Micayla Sorosiak’s second home run in as many games wasn’t enough as Northwestern State dropped the opener 8-3 to Houston Baptist.
Sorosiak’s solo home run came in the fourth inning as she blasted a ball through wind gusts of up to 20 miles per hour, slicing HBU’s lead to 2-1.
Her three-run home run last weekend against Nicholls keyed a 6-5 win, and these last two home runs break a drought of 29 games without a homer. Sorosiak has six this season and 29 in her career.
HBU extended that 2-1 lead by scoring six runs in the next three innings, totaling three multi-inning runs in the win.
Redshirt sophomore pitcher Mikayla Brown lost just her third start in 12 outings as she allowed four runs on four hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings.
Brown (13-12) allowed the first of four HBU sacrifice fly RBIs in the second inning as the Huskies efficiently manufactured the majority of their eight runs.
HBU’s Libby Brown (3-for-3) highlighted her day with an RBI single as part of a three-run sixth inning to grab the 8-3 lead.
Cecilia Bauer drew an RBI-walk in the second inning and hit a solo home run to cap a two-run fourth, pushing HBU’s lead to 4-1.
NSU freshman reliever Hayley Barbazon allowed four runs (one earned) in two innings. Junior pitcher Micaela Bouvier recorded the final out – a strikeout – in her first appearance since March 12.
NSU pinch hitter Kaylee Isenburg knocked in two runs with a sixth-inning double to pull to 5-3, but the Huskies responded with three runs in the six inning with the help of one of three NSU errors.
HBU pitcher Emily Mueller (8-13) earned the win with three runs on four hits and five walks. Reliever Sarah Buenrostro picked up the save in 1 2/3 innings.
HBU 8, NSU 0 (6)
Hits didn’t equal runs in the second game as Northwestern State lost despite outhitting Houston Baptist 8-5.
Nine Lady Demons were stranded – six in scoring position – as NSU was shut out for the third time in conference play.
Sidney Salmans, Hailee Rhodes and Jordan Rains accounted for six of NSU’s eight hits with two hits each.
Sophomore pitcher Katelyn Boles (5-14) lasted 2 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on just one hit but six walks.
Freshman reliever Hayley Barbazon, making a second appearance in the same day for the first time in her career, allowed three runs on four hits and a walk in 3 1/3 innings.
Six of HBU’s RBIs came from hitters 5-9 as No. 8 hitter Demi Janak accounted for two RBIs in the second game. Janak totaled four RBIs on the day.
After scoring one run in the second inning, HBU struck for six third-inning runs.
Boles walked four consecutive batters to score a run (2-0 HBU lead) before Barbazon walked in another (3-0 HBU lead).
HBU then recorded three RBI singles in the next four batters for the six-run inning and a 7-0 lead.
Barbazon retired the side in the next two innings before a Cecilia Bauer home run in the sixth inning ended the run-rule win for the Huskies.
HBU pitcher Shae Bibby (3-4) picked up the shutout with no walks and two strikeouts to go with NSU’s eight hits.