LAKE CHARLES, La. – The Sam Houston State Bearkats scored in each of its final four at-bats and Lindsey McLeod tossed her 20th complete game of the season as the Kats eliminated Central Arkansas with a 9-1 win in the opening round of the Southland Conference Tournament on Tuesday at Cowgirl Diamond.
The win marked the second straight season Sam Houston has defeated the Bears in the opening round of the Southland Conference Tournament, and also advances the eighth-seeded Bearkats into the double-elimination portion of the week. There they will take on fourth-seeded Southeastern Louisiana at 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. The game will be aired on the Southland Conference Digital Network.
Sam Houston (23-31) finished with 11 hits on the day, but six went for extra bases, including five doubles which was one shy of a season high. Codi Carpenter finished with a pair of hits in the game, as did Sheridan Fisher. Megan Crosby had a pair of RBI doubles, including one in the second inning that opened the scoring and another in a five-run seventh inning for the Kats.
That was more than enough for McLeod, who added five more strikeouts to her season total on her way to her 14th win of the year. Meanwhile, Rachel Haberman took the loss for UCA (28-25) after giving up three runs on six hits in 4.1 innings of work.
Back-to-back doubles by White and Crosby off of Haberman in the top of the second gave the Kats an early 1-0. McLeod would work around the first two hitters of the second inning reaching base, then around a one-out double an inning later to keep the Kats out in front.
A UCA error helped plate the second Sam Houston run of the game in the fourth, then they added on again in each of the next two innings. The Kats took advantage of a leadoff double by Andrie in the fifth, pushing her across on an RBI single by Sheridan Fisher two batters later to up the lead to 3-0.
An inning later Carpenter made it a 4-0 game, blasting the first pitch of the inning from Rio Sanchez over the center-field fence for a solo homer, her fifth of the season. The Kats would then put it away in the seventh, plating five runs on four hits.
A two-base error off the bat of Brooke Malia scored the first two runs and two batters later White made it a 7-0 game with a sacrifice fly. The Kats added two more after that on Crosby’s second double of the day and an RBI single from Andrie.