Sam Houston State and Northwestern State split a Southland softball doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Demon Field in Natchitoches, La.
The Demons won the first game 5-4 in extra innings. The Bearkats bounced back to take the nightcap 8-2.
Sam Houston totaled six home runs in the doubleheader on shots by Tori Benavidez, Cecilia and Tiffany Castillo, Kim Damian, Ashley Isbell and Hillary Adams.
With the victory in the first game, Northwestern State (36-12, 17-7) clinched the No. 2 seed in the Southland Conference tournament which begins Thursday in Natchitoches.
Sam Houston (32-21, 17-9) can earn the No. 3 seed with a victory in the regular season finale with the Demons Sunday. Central
Cali Burke smacked a walk-off single to center field in the second extra inning of the series opener.
Sam Houston jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead as Benavidez led off the first inning with a home run followed by consecutive home runs by Tiffany and Cecilia Castillo in bottom of the second inning.
Demon relief pitcher Kaylee Guidry shut out the Bearkats in the final six innings, giving up only three hits while striking out five batters.
Meanwhile the Demons roared back to take a 4-3 lead.
Damian forced extra innings with a two-out home run in the top of the seventh inning.
Benavidez went 3-for-5 to lead SHSU at the plate. Haley Baros was the losing pitcher for the Bearkats in relief.
After a pair of lead changes, the Bearkats took control in the top of the fourth inning to earn the victory in the nightcap.
Third baseman Shelbi Tucker put SHSU up 1-0 in the second inning as she singled and later scored from third on a passed ball.
Northwestern State scored two runs on a Brianna Rodriguez double in the third inning to take a brief lead.
Adams’ two-run single with two outs in the top of the fourth put the Kats ahead to stay. The single scored Alyssa Coggins and Benavidez who both singled.
Isbell homered to right field in the fifth and Adams added a three-run homer in the sixth. Tiffany Castillo singled and later scored on an Isbell ground ball.
Shelby Lancaster was the winning pitcher for the Bearkats in the second game.