HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston Bearkats outhit the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks on Saturday, but were only able to push across one run as the Ladyjacks clinched the series with a 3-1 victory at the Bearkat Softball Complex.
Ashley Goetz and Megan McDonald had two hits apiece to pace a 7-hit attack for the Bearkats (15-18, 6-6 SLC), but Casey Kauder’s solo homer in the fifth was the only scoring Sam Houston could muster as the Kats left six runners stranded on base for the game.
SFA’s (12-22, 4-5 SLC) Callee Guffey went the distance to earn her sixth victory of the year, punching out six hitters without issuing a free pass. Meanwhile, the Bearkat duo of Tayler Atkinson and Lindsey McLeod did not issue a walk either, but SFA was able to touch up Atkinson for three runs. The senior took the loss despite striking out four in 4.2 innings before giving way to McLeod who allowed just one hit and struck out a pair.
The Kats will next head to Lamar to battle the Cardinals for three games next weekend in Beaumont. The teams will play a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 4 p.m. before wrapping up the series in a 3 p.m. start on Saturday.
It took SFA just three pitches into the game to stake itself to a 1-0 lead as Kiriany Hornberger launched a 1-1 pitch out to left field to lead off the contest for her first career homer. But from there Atkinson would be stellar for until the fifth, retiring 13 of the next 14 hitters she would face.
On the otherside, Guffey retired the first nine Bearkats she faced before Koerselman reached on a bunt single to open up the fourth. Sam Houston then got a one-out single from Hannah Marino to put runners at first and second. The Kats were then just inches away from pushing across a run, but Megan Crosby’s line-drive rope down the third-base line was snagged on the fly by Lauren Becker and Guffey got a strikeout of Codi Carpenter to leave both runners stranded.
An inning later the Ladyjacks used a two-out rally to push its lead to 3-0. Atkinson retired each of the first two hitters she faced before Karli Herron shot her first homer of the season out, just inside the left-field foul pole to make it a 2-0 game. Emily Wolfe followed with a double to left field and Brittany Crawford brought her in one batter later with a sure single back up the middle.
The Kats finally got on the board in their half of the fifth as Kauder blasted her second homer in as many days out to left field to open up the inning and cut the score to 3-1. Goetz and Megan McDonald each followed with singles and a sacrifice bunt from Koerselman put them both in scoring position; however, Guffey was able to dial up another big strike as she got Tiffany Thompson swinging to leave both runners stranded again.
After a pair of clean innings from McLeod in the sixth and seventh kept the Kats within two runs, Goetz’s second hit of the game with one out in Sam Houston’s final at-bat. But Guffey got the second out with a punchout of pinch hitter Kaitlynn Dawson before McDonald singled to left field to put the tying run on base. But that was as far as the Kats would get as Koerselman’s deep fly ball to left was hauled in by Crawford to end things.