HUNTSVILLE – Junior right-hander Lindsey McLeod tied a Sam Houston school record with 14 strike outs, then teamed with sophomore Kaitlynn Dawson to win the nightcap as the Bearkat softball team defeated UIW 4-0 and 7-2 in a home doubleheader Saturday.
The contests marked the opening of the 2018 Southland Conference season for both squads. Sam Houston upped its season mark to 8-13 while UIW fell to 3-10 overall.
Striking out eight of the first 10 batters she faced, McLeod threw strikes on 65 of her 103 pitches. She gave up a single in the second inning, two in the sixth but did not give up a walk. The 14 strikeouts tied the mark set by Melissa Collins against McNeese in 2004.
Back-to-back two-out doubles by right fielder Sheridan Fisher and center fielder Megan McDonald accounted for Sam Houston’s first run. A three-run homer by shortstop Tiffany Thompson that soared over the center field wall completed the Kats’ scoring. Thompson’s first home run of the season scored Samantha Belongia - running for catcher Baily White who singled - and designated player Megan Crosby who hit safely.
Dawson continued the success in the circle in the nightcap, striking out her first two batters and holding the Cardinals scoreless for five innings. After giving up two runs in the top of the sixth inning, Dawson was replaced by McLeod. The junior struck out UIW’s final five batters.
Sam Houston jumped out to a two-run lead in the bottom of the first inning of the nightcap. Fisher and McDonald both singled then scored on a UIW error. McDonald singled and scored on an error again in the second. Second baseman Brooke Malia’s RBI single put the Kats up 4-0 after two.
McDonald accounted for a third run after a single and a sacrifice bunt moved her to third base in the fourth inning. She scored on a ground out by first baseman Codi Carpenter. With her fourth home run of the year in the sixth inning, White brought in two more runs.
Dawson earned the victory in the circle, giving up six hits in five and a third innings.
Sam Houston and UIW look to finish the series Saturday with a 12 noon start at the Softball Complex.