Third baseball Shelbi Tucker went 6-for-7 with a walk-off home run in the opener and a game-winning three-run triple in the nightcap as Sam Houston swept a Southland Conference doubleheader from Nicholls Saturday.
The Bearkats rallied twice to defeat the Colonels 8-7 and 5-4. Sam Houston now stands 27-19 for the year and 13-7 in Southland Conference. Nicholls dropped to 19-23 for the season and 9-10 in the league.
The victories allow Sam Houston to keep pace with the two teams ahead of the Bearkats -- McNeese State (15-3) and Northwestern State (14-5).
Hillary Adams, a normal starter for the Kats who was forced to play in a reserve role Saturday due to an ankle injury, came up with two clutch hits as well. Adams batted in runs in both games in her appearances at the plate.
"Shelbi and Hillary really came up big for us today," head coach Bob Brock said. "Hillary tried to do some things on Friday but we finally convinced her that it the right situation she would come in as a pinch-hitter. We got behind in both games but just kept fighting. This was a big day for us."
Cecilia Castillo and Tucker hit back-to-back home runs as Sam Houston fought back from a 7-3 deficit to win the first game of the doubleheader 8-7.
Castillo’s home run, her seventh of the season, also scored Kim Damian who started the bottom of the seventh with a single. Tucker’s blast to right field was the third baseman’s fourth home run of the year and second walk-off game winner.
The Colonels led twice with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning and a five-run sixth inning which featured three home runs in four at bats. Brittany Marcet, Ashton Benton and Courtney Vanlandingham accounted for the homers.
Sam Houston rebounded for three runs in the fourth on a two-run pinch hit by Adams and a run-scoring double by Alyssa Coggins that gave the Kats a 3-2 lead.
Jessica Slater cut the late Nicholls margin to 7-5 with a two-run single.
Meme Quinn (9-5) got the victory in the circle, starting the game and pitching three innings then returning in the sixth inning.
Again in the nightcap the Colonels used the long ball to build a lead as Leah Andrus put a two-run homer off the scoreboard to give Nicholls a 3-0 lead in the top of the fifth.
Adams performed her magic in another pinch hitting situation with a two-run single in the fifth inning to put Sam Houston on the scoreboard. An inning later Tucker smashed a three-run stand-up triple to score both the Castillo sisters and Ashley Isbell.
Quinn again was the winner in the circle, pitching the final three innings of the nightcap.
Sam Houston and Nicholls will meet in the third game of the series at 1 p.m. Sunday.