Sam Houston State vs. No. 9 Texas
AUSTIN - The Sam Houston State softball team will face Texas Friday to open the Austin Regional of the NCAA Tournament at Red and Charline McCombs Field.
The Bearkats and the No. 9 national-seeded Longhorns will play at 4 p.m. The game will be aired on the Longhorn Network and be radio broadcast online on the Bearkats Sports Network at www.gobearkats.com.
Texas A&M and Houston are the other two teams in the double-elimination regional. The Aggies and Cougars will play Friday at 1 p.m. on ESPN3.
The Bearkats (34-21) have faced all three teams in the regional this season. Sam Houston State lost 9-1 in five innings at Texas (41-14) on Feb. 22, fell to Houston (37-17) 2-1 on Feb. 10 and 17-1 in five innings on April 30 and dropped a doubleheader to Texas A&M (28-25) 5-4 and 4-3 on March 27.
The Bearkats only other regional appearance came in 2007 when Sam Houston State topped Texas State 1-0 in the Southland Conference championship game at Bearkat Softball Complex.
The Bearkats were sent to the College Station Regional and fell to host Texas A&M 9-5 in the opener. Sam Houston stayed alive by beating Louisiana-Lafayette 2-1 before being eliminated by the Aggies 11-0.
The Bearkats went 22-5 in league play to capture the program’s first regular-season championship since 1993 and fourth overall. Sam Houston State earned the top seed in the SLC tournament in Natchitoches, Louisiana this past week.
The Kats rolled to a 7-0 victory over Southeastern Louisiana in the opening game thanks to a stellar performance in the circle by SLC Player and Pitcher of the Year Lindsey McLeod (21-8), who struck out 11. Sophomore Bailey White drove in three runs and junior Taylar Fuselier had a two-run single.
Sam Houston State faced second-seeded Nicholls in two instant classics to clinch the SLC tournament championship. McLeod blanked the Colonels for nine innings May 9 before sophomore Brooke Malia launched a two-run, walk-off home run to left field off All-SLC first-team pitcher Megan Landry to advance to the championship round.
Nicholls survived elimination to meet the Bearkats once again Saturday.
McLeod and Landry went toe to toe in another nail-biter. The Colonels struck first with a solo home run in the top of the sixth, but junior Tiffany Thompson and Malia hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the inning to put Sam Houston State on top. McLeod shut the door on Nicholls in the seventh to cap the tournament with a perfect 3-0 record.
Things to know for fans making the trip
• Please note that a clear bag policy is in effect at all Texas Athletics venues. All bags larger than 4.5" x 6.5", including purses and diaper bags, must be clear plastic and no larger than 12" x 6" x 12". For more details, please visit TexasSports.com/clearbag.
• East Campus parking (1200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd) | Map : $10.