HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats couldn’t overcome Houston’s pitching in Game 1 of a doubleheader, then dropped an extra-innings heartbreaker in Game 2 as swept a twinbill Tuesday afternoon at the Bearkat Softball Complex.
Sheridan Fisher had the lone hit for the Bearkats (11-18) in Game 1 on Tuesday, but the Bearkat offense woke up in game two scoring 11 runs with Codi Carpenter sending her third ball of the season over the outfield fence to highlight things as one of four Kats with multiple RBIs in the game.
Sam Houston will hit the road for the first time in 10 games as they travel to Conway, Ark. to take on Central Arkansas in a three-game series over the weekend.
Game 1 – Box Score
Houston 6, Sam Houston 0
Houston (19-9) got a dominant pitching performance from Savannah Heebner as the Kats managed only one hit and one base runner as they dropped the opening half of the doubleheader 3-0.
Lindsey McLeod got the nod to start and pitched 5.0 frames, allowing three runs on five hits, while punching out two Cougars. Kaitlynn Dawson and Annie Bailey would pitch an inning each in relief fashion. Heebner was dominant in the circle for the Cougars as she surrendered only one hit and surrendered no walks while tossing 75 pitches
Both pitchers got off to great starts in the opening match as both surrendered just a hit each through the first two innings. But the Cougars broke through in the third when Mariah Garcia drew a one-out walk, eventually being brought around thanks to a two-out single to center to give the Cougars the early advantage.
Both pitchers continued to get in a groove as both sides combined for only three hits throughout the first four innings. The Cougars offense came alive once again in the fifth inning as they added an insurance run thanks to a RBI double with one out off the bat of Arielle James. The Cougars would be in prime position to add to their lead with runners on second and third with one out and loaded the bases with two outs, however McLeod would get out of the jam forcing a fly out to end the top of the fifth.
The Cougar offense began to get their feet under them as they scored their third and final run when Sarah Barker delivered a RBI single in a pinch-hit appearance to drive in Aspen Howie who opened up the frame for the Cougars with a lead-off double and found herself at third after the wild pitch.
Houston would draw two walks to open up the final frame before Bailey would take over pitching duties for the Kats, Bailey retired the first two batters she saw, but Sarah Barker would rip a two-out bases-clearing triple for the Cougars as they stretched their lead to six before Bailey forced a fly out to end the frame.
Game 2 – Box Score
Houston 13, Sam Houston 11 (10 innings)
The Bearkats went the distance, plus some, before dropping a heart-breaker in the 10th inning as Houston completed the sweep with a 13-11 extra-innings win in the nightcap.
Sam Houston got hits from seven different players, including a three-run bomb off the bat of Carpenter in the opening frame. They added four more on two-run RBI hits off the bats of Megan Crosby and Brooke Malia. Samantha Belongia, Taylar Fuselier, Tiffany Thompson and Fisher were the only other Bearkats with hits on the night.
Three different pitchers saw time in the circle with Dawson picking up the loss to move to 1-3 on the season after 4.2 innings of work during which she allowed five runs, three of which were earned. Heebner picked up the win for the Cougars to move to 12-2 after 3.0 innings of work only allowing one unearned run.
Sam Houston got off to a quick start in the opening frame with the first two batters reaching, but Houston would retire the following two batters before Carpenter launched the second pitch she saw over the right field wall for a three-run homer to give the Kats the early advantage. However, Houston answered back in the third inning as they cut the lead to one thanks in part to two Bearkat errors in the inning.
Sam Houston answered the in the following frame after two walks and a Cougar error loaded the bases with two outs. Crosby would deliver for the Kats with a two-run RBI down the left field line to push the Kats back ahead by three runs. But the Kats weren’t done quite yet as they added three more unearned runs before the Cougars got out of the inning.
But the scoring action didn’t stop there as the Cougars scored six runs to tie the game at eight over the next two innings. Houston was helped by four free passes over the two-inning stretch to go along with their six hits as they eventually tied the game at eight after drawing a bases-loaded walk.
Sam Houston was in a prime positon to take a late lead going into the seventh inning, with runners on second and third with two outs, but Houston forced a ground out to end the frame. This would prove costly as the Cougars would take the lead in the seventh after a two-out double reached the left field wall and a throwing error gave the Cougars a two-run advantage.
But the Kats proved to be resilient to everything the Cougars threw at them with the first two batters reaching before Crosby would move them to second and third with a groundout to second. Malia would step in to deliver the big-time hit with a two-run RBI to the centerfield wall to tie the game at 10 and ultimately force extra innings.
Houston finally broke the tie an inning after the Kats had the potential game-winning run on third with a leadoff double who eventually found her way across home after a double to left field as did another Cougar to capture a two-run lead. Houston would push another across the plate after Sam Houston’s fifth error of the game, but couldn’t get any more as a nice double play from right field kept the fourth Cougar from scoring. But the Kats couldn’t answer the Cougars strong tenth as they pushed one across home and has the bases loaded with two outs but couldn’t complete the comeback.