HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats used another high-octane fifth inning to complete the series sweep of the Houston Baptist Huskies, 4-1, Sunday afternoon at Bearkat Softball Complex in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Kaitlynn Dawson (2-4) gave the Kats (22-31, 13-14 SLC) a stellar performance in the circle for her second win of the season, holding the Husky lineup to only a lone run in a complete-game effort. She punched out two and allowed five hits on the day.
Jessica Patak (6-19) shouldered the loss for the Huskies (9-34, 6-21 SLC) after 4.1 innings of work in which she shut out the Kats for three innings until the fifth-inning breakthrough accounted for three runs.
Sheridan Fisher was the lone Bearkat with a multi-hit game going 2-for-4 on the day, but Tiffany Thompson was the most affective as with her only hit being a two-run bomb that broke a 1-1 deadlock in the fifth inning. It was her team-leading seventh longball of the season. Bailey White and Codi Carpenter also each picked up an RBI on the day.
Amber Lotz crushed her first homerun of the season in the season finale to drive in Houston Baptist’s lone run.
The Bearkats had early success in the opening inning as two singles and a walk loaded the bases with an out. Carpenter then stepped up to the plate and was hit by a pitch to push across the first Bearkat run of the day.
However, the Huskies got on the board in a big way in the third inning finally breaking through to Dawson as Lotz sent the first ball she saw over the fence for her first long ball of the season. The Kats quickly responded to retire the next two Houston Baptist batters to get out of the inning, but the damage had been done.
After a rocky start in the circle, Patak came back out and retired seven straight batters until Megan McDonald led off with a single in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Kats would move McDonald all the way around to third thanks to two fly balls, but Patak stayed strong and forced a grounder to end the inning with the game still deadlocked at 1-1.
The game would stay there until the bottom of the fifth inning when Thompson crushed her team-leading seventh homerun of the year with a two-run homer to put the Kats up 3-1. Two straight hard-hit singles to center field and a walk would load the bases shortly after the Thompson longball. White would drive in the third Bearkat run with a knock to center field, but the Kats couldn’t squeeze in two as the second runner was thrown out at the plate.
HBU couldn’t respond to the fifth-inning success of the Bearkats as Dawson turned in a clean sixth inning and allowed only one HBU hit in the seventh inning when Heidi Jaquez drilled a two-out double to right center.
The Bearkats will now look to the Southland Conference Tournament next week in Lake Charles, La. where they will enter as the No. 8 seed and take on No. 5 Central Arkansas. The opening-round game is set for 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday with the winner advancing to the double-elimination portion of the bracket.