HUNTSVILLE- Sam Houston State used two big offensive innings and a complete-game performance from ace Lindsey McLeod to avoid a series sweep and pick up an 8-4 victory over Lamar on Saturday afternoon at the Bearkat Softball Complex.
Bearkat (14-26, 6-9 SLC) starter Lindsey McLeod pitched a complete game in the circle, picking up her 10th win of the season to reach double-digit wins for the second time in her Bearkat career. She allowed only three earned runs on six hits in seven innings of action, punching out three to run her season total to a league-leading 145 strikeouts.
Tiffany Thompson, Bailey White and Karlee Canada all had multiple hits with White driving in two runs. Meanwhile Brooke Malia, Katie Andrie and Sheridan Fisher all picked up an RBI each. Malia had the only extra-base hit on the day for the Kats with a double in the second inning.
Kelly Meeuwsen and Shelby Henderson both drove in two runs apiece for the Cardinals (22-18, 8-7 SLC) with Henderson continuing her hot streak in the series with a home run in the second inning. Lamar had four different pitchers see action in the circle on the afternoon with Anissa Rodriguez seeing the most action with 4.1 innings, while starter Laura Napoli picked up the loss to move to 10-9 on the season.
The Kats struck early to capture a 4-0 lead after the first frame thanks to two early Cardinal errors. Malia would draw a bases-loaded walk to start the early scoring while the Kats would add three more including scoring two of their runs with two outs in the frame.
Lamar wasted no time responding as Henderson hit a home run in her third consecutive game, driving in Taylor Davis on the dinger after Davis reached on a Bearkat outfield error to begin the inning. McLeod would stop the bleeding, however, to keep the Kats ahead by two runs going into the bottom of the inning.
The Kats would respond to the homer with Malia driving in the fifth Bearkat run of the day with a RBI double to center in the second. The early and quick scoring would stop there as neither squad would bring a runner across home over the next two innings with Lamar’s best chance coming in the top of the fourth with the bags loaded with only one out, but McLeod would lock in to retire two Cardinals safely before any damage could be done.
However, Lamar would break through to pull within one in the fifth frame. Two Cardinals crossing home in that inning, however Sam Houston would stay ahead by one with the tying Cardinal run getting thrown out at the plate to end the threat.
Sam Houston would stretch their lead back to four going into the final inning after a White two-run RBI blast to the right field wall got things going for the Kats in the sixth inning. Fisher picked a good time to get her first hit of the game as she drove in the third Sam Houston run of the inning with a single to left center. Lamar would get a one-out single in the seventh, but McLeod stiffened up and shut the door on the Cardinals to pick up the victory.
The Bearkats won’t hit the field again until next weekend as they take on Southland rival Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in a three-game series with games one and two scheduled for 1 and 3 p.m. Friday.