LAKE CHARLES, La. – The Sam Houston State Bearkats never could get anything going on Friday, while the McNeese Cowgirls used three big innings to pick up a 10-0 win in just five innings in the series opener at Cowgirl Diamond.
The Cowgirls (17-10, 4-0 SLC) scored three times in the first inning and blew things open with a five-run third to remain unbeaten through four league games. Rachel Smith allowed just two hits and struck out six in 5.0 innings of work in moving to 6-4 on the season.
Tayler Atkinson took the loss for the Bearkats (12-12, 3-1 SLC) after a tough outing that saw her allow a season-high eight earned runs in just 2.1 frames in the circle. Sam Houston finished with just two singles for the night, with Codi Carpenter and Samantha Belongia each picking up one apiece.
Singles from Hailey Drew opened up the Cowgirls’ first trip to the plate and two batters later Erika Piancastelli drove in the first of her three runs in the game with a single. A two-out walk to Baylee Corbello kept the inning alive, and after she swiped second, Alexandria Saldivar plated two more to give McNeese a 3-0 lead after an inning of play.
Drew was hit by a pitch to open the Cowgirl third inning, and a single and an error set up Piancastelli once again as she made it 4-0 when she singled on a 3-2 pitch. Two batters later Corbello delivered a two-run double to the left-center field gap and Saldivar followed that up with a two-run home run to blow things open with McNeese up 8-0.
The Cowgirls added two more runs in the fourth with Piancastelli delivering the first run with an RBI single following consecutive singles from Drew and Justyce McClain. Corbello then capped her 3-RBI night with an RBI single up the middle.
Sam Houston will try to flip the script on Saturday when they play a pair against the Cowgirls. First pitch of Game 1 of the doubleheader is set for noon from Cowgirl Diamond.