HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats scored three times in the first inning and got 10 strikeouts from Lindsey McLeod in a complete-game shutout effort to take down preseason league favorite McNeese, 5-0, on Friday night at the Bearkat Softball Complex.
The Kats (11-14, 4-0 SLC) snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Cowgirls (17-10, 0-4 SLC) that dated back to 2014 and recorded the team’s first shutout against McNeese since 2011 with the win. Sam Houston, along with 5-0 Nicholls, are the only remaining unbeaten teams in Southland play after Friday. For McLeod, it was her fourth consecutive complete-game win, and the third time in those four outings in which she has totaled at least 10 strikeouts. She moved to 8-4 with the victory, allowing just three hits to the Cowgirls. She did issue seven walks, but struck out 10 and held McNeese hitters to 0-for-13 with runners on base.
During her recent four-game run, McLeod has struck out 39 hitters with only two runs allowed on 13 hits in 26.0 innings.
Sheridan Fisher and Tiffany Thompson each had a pair of hits, while Thompson, Megan Crosby and Codi Carpenter all had RBI in the key first inning. Katie Andrie then provided the final nail in the coffin, smashing a two-run pinch hit homer in the bottom of the sixth off of Cowgirl reliever Ashley Koncir.
For McNeese, Caroline Settle took the loss, allowing three runs on six hits in 3.0 innings to move to 5-5 on the year.
The Bearkats will have a pair of chances to clinch their first series win over McNeese since 2013 on Saturday with a doubleheader scheduled to begin at noon.
McLeod worked around a pair of walks in the first inning before retiring three straight Cowgirls to keep them off the board. Fisher and Megan McDonald then promptly ignited things for Sam Houston in the bottom of the inning with consecutive singles. Two batters later Carpenter made it a 1-0 Bearkat lead with an RBI single, followed by an RBI fielder’s choice by Crosby. Thompson then shot a single back up the middle, scoring Bailey White to give Sam a 3-0 advantage after just an inning of play.
The Cowgirls would put at least one runner on base in every inning on the night, but McLeod continuously worked around the trouble to make that 3-0 lead stand up. The Kats were finally able to add on to that lead in the sixth, an inning that started with a single by Crosby to center field on the first pitch she saw from Koncir.
A strikeout and grounder would follow before Coach Bob Brock turned to Andrie off the bench. The senior then connected on the first pitch from Koncir, blasting a two-run homer that gave Sam a comfortable 5-0 lead with just three outs to go for the win.