HUNTSVILLE – The second pitching heavyweight bout between Lindsey McLeod and Southeastern’s Rachel Hayes yielded near the same results as Friday’s series opener with Southeastern Louisiana picking up the narrow victory, 2-0, to complete the series sweep Saturday afternoon at Bearkat Softball Complex.
McLeod (12-12) gave the Kats a great performance in the circle, holding the Lady Lion lineup to only two runs in a complete-game effort in which she punched out seven and allowed five hits and two earned runs. Hayes (15-7) picked up her second win of the series thanks to a dominant 7.0 innings in which she surrendered only two hits and punched out one.
Katie Andrie and Tiffany Thompson were the bright spots in the Bearkat lineup with the two combining for the only two Sam Houston hits on the afternoon. Thompson’s hit was the lone extra-base hit as she crushed a ball to right for a one-out triple in the opening inning.
Mahalia Gibson was the heart and soul of the Lady Lions Saturday afternoon as she proved why she was slotted in the three-hole driving in both of the Lady Lions runs with one thanks to a longball in the fourth frame.
Both teams had little success in the first three innings with McLeod and Hayes showcasing their arm talent as they combined to allow only two hits through the first three frames. The Bearkats however had perhaps their best scoring opportunity on the afternoon in the bottom-half of the third when Brooke Malia came up to bat with the bags loaded after a Lion error and two walks. But Hayes was unaffected by the situation and recorded her lone punch-out of the day on Malia to squander the Sam Houston scoring opportunity.
The Lady Lions finally snapped the goose egg tie when Gibson drove a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall for a two-out homerun which proved to be enough to down the Kats. The pitcher’s duel would resume after the longball with a lone single between the two sides over the next 1.5 innings.
However the Lions would add a crucial insurance run in the top-half of the sixth after Gibson pushed across her second RBI of the day with a two-out single to center to push the Lady Lion advantage to two runs. The Kats struggles at the plate continued through the final two innings as Hayes retired the final six Bearkats in order to seal the win for Southeastern.
Sam Houston will be looking to sneak into the Southland Conference tournament next weekend as they are set to square off against Houston Baptist with the series kicking off with a Friday doubleheader set to begin at 3 p.m. at the Bearkat Softball Complex.