STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Sam Houston State Bearkats kicked off the Bulldog Slamboree with a bang on Friday, sweeping a pair of games from Mercer and Alcorn State at Nusz Park.

The Kats scratched across a key run in the sixth to break a scoreless tie with Mercer before staking itself to a 5-0 lead in the nightcap against Alcorn. Lindsey McLeod put together another dominant performance against the Bears with a complete-game shutout while Bailey White had the big blow with a three-run homer in the fourth to put away the Lady Braves.

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Sam Houston will look to add on to its strong start to the weekend on Saturday with two more games, starting at 2:00 p.m. when they take on the host Mississippi State. They will close it out at 4:30 p.m. with a rematch against Alcorn.

Game 1 – Box Score
Sam Houston 1, Mercer 0
Sam Houston State grinded out a narrow 1-0 victory against Mercer thanks to a crucial sixth inning run to open up the Bulldog Slamboree on Friday morning.

Megan McDonald would get on base with a two-out single to left field but that would be the only hit either side could muster through the first four innings as the pitcher’s duel between Lindsey McLeod and Mercer’s Megan Bilgri would ensue.

McLeod and Bilgri would go on to toss three-up and three-down innings for three straight frames before Mercer got their first hit of the day in the fifth inning thanks to an Emma Andrew two-out infield single. Mercer would find themselves in position to score when Andrew stole second on the next pitch, but McLeod answered the bell as she struck out the next Bear.

The Kats bats would start to come to life in the bottom of the frame as Katie Andrie and Codi Carpenter would both get singles to put runners on first and second with one out, but the next two Kats would be retired before Sam Houston could get a run across. 

Sam Houston’s offense finally broke through in the bottom frame of the sixth as Sheridan Fisher got things going with a lead-off single. Kayte Martinez would follow Fisher with a sacrifice bunt but got all the way to second thanks to a fielding error by the Mercer first baseman. McDonald pushed the first and only Bearkat run across the board with a deep foul ball to left field to drive in Fisher. Malia would single up the middle to put runners on the corners for the Kats, but the following two Sam Houston batters were retired.

Despite allowing a leadoff double to start the final frame, McLeod finished out her complete game retiring the next three Bears to help Sam Houston capture their fourth win of the season. Despite dynamic performances in the circle from both sides McLeod used eight strikeouts to pick up the pitcher’s duel victory to put her at 3-3 on the year. Bilgri also pitched a complete game for the Bears and took the loss to move to 4-2 on the year.

Game 2 – Box Score
Sam Houston 5, Mercer 2

The Kats led 5-0 in the first four innings and that was all they needed to complete the day’s sweep with a 5-2 win over Alcorn in the day’s nightcap.

Fisher and White each had two hits, with White delivering a three-run homer in the fourth to ice the game. Megan McDonald and Katie Andrie would also have an RBI each, while Annie Bailey picked up her second win with just two runs allowed in 6.0 innings of work. She would hand the ball off to McLeod who would record three strikeouts in the final inning.

McDonald got the scoring going in the first inning with an RBI single and Andrie added on another with an RBI two batters later. Things would stay quiet again until the fourth when singles from Carpenter and Thompson got things started. Then, after a sacrifice bunt from Taylar Fuselier, White deposited a 3-2 pitch out to left field for her second homer of the year to make it a 5-0 ballgame. 

Bailey would have little issues in her time in the circle, allowing just four hits until a single by Ashley Arnold opened the seventh. She would then hit Mariah Ortiz with a pitch before giving the ball off to McLeod. The junior punched out each of the first two hitters she saw before Victoria Tyler got Alcorn on the board with a two-run double. But McLeod responded, closing out the inning and the game one batter later when she retired Ambria Dorsey on strikes.