NACOGDOCHES – The Sam Houston State Bearkats put an end to an eight-game losing skid with a win in the opener of a doubleheader on Friday at Stephen F. Austin before falling in the nightcap at the SFA Softball Field.

Lindsey McLeod carried the load with a 13-strikeout complete game in the opener, propelling the Kats to a 1-0 win; however, SFA responded with a big offensive game in the finale to square the series.  

The Bearkats will close out the series with the Ladyjacks on Saturday afternoon with first pitch set for noon from the SFA Softball Field.

GAME 1 – Box Score
Sam Houston 1, Stephen F. Austin 0
Lindsey McLeod turned in a beauty of an afternoon in the series opener, punching out 13 hitters without walking a batter as the Bearkats took Game 1, 1-0.

Sam Houston scratched across its lone run in the third inning and McLeod made that stand up, striking out seven hitters in the first frame and pitching around a pair of attempted SFA rallies in both the sixth and seventh.

Megan Crosby doubled to lead off the third, and after a single from Taylar Fuselier, came home to score on a grounder by Samantha Belongia to give Sam Houston all the offense it would need. SFA’s Makayla Sikes went the distance for the Ladyjacks, striking out four and allowing just four hits, but falling to 10-6 for the season.

Sam Houston got just one single after its run-scoring third, but the Ladyjacks waited until late in the game to mount a charge. Their best threat came in the bottom of the sixth when they put a pair of runners on base before McLeod struck out Amber Landry to end the threat.

GAME 2 – Box Score
Stephen F. Austin 7, Sam Houston 1
The Bearkats struck first, but SFA answered with five runs in the next two innings and squared up the series with a 7-1 win in Game 2 on Friday.

SFA got to Sam starter Darby Fitzpatrick for three runs in the first and two more in the second, while Callee Guffey did the rest, putting up six straight zeros on the board for the Ladyjacks. She only struck out three, but did not walk a batter and scattered four hits.

Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, fell to 0-7 in pitching 6.0 innings. She struck out two and allowed all seven runs, despite only two being earned. She shut down the Ladyjacks for three consecutive innings after the second before SFA added on two more in the seventh.

Sheridan Fisher helped get the Kats on the board quickly, doubling to open up the game and coming in to score two batters later on a sacrifice fly from Tiffany Thompson. But Sam Houston would add on just three more hits the remainder of the way.

For SFA, Autumn Holloway turned in a big day at the plate, driving in four runs on a pair of hits, while Amber Landry also had a pair of RBI and three hits of her own.