BEAUMONT – The Sam Houston State Bearkats got a strong effort from starting pitcher Lindsey McLeod, but the Lamar Cardinals were able to scratch across a pair of late runs to take the series finale and clinch the series win with a 2-0 victory on Saturday afternoon at the Lamar Softball Complex.
McLeod allowed just three hits in her first five innings of work before Lamar (20-20, 10-5 SLC) finally broke through in the sixth for two runs on a single by Kelly Meeuwsen that proved to be the difference in the game.
Meanwhile, Cardinal starter Ciara Luna turned in her second consecutive strong start of the series, following up her 10-inning complete game with a seven-inning shutout in the series finale. The right-hander allowed just two Bearkat (16-20, 7-8 SLC) hits on the day in earning her seventh win of the season, striking out five without a walk.
Sam Houston will next close out its midweek schedule on Tuesday when it travels to Texas Southern for a 6 p.m. start before returning home to host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for three games beginning on Friday.
After Luna held Sam Houston hitless for the first three frames, the Bearkats got a great scoring chance when Tori Koerselman delivered a leadoff triple into right-center field to open the frame. But she would not advance any further as a line out and a pop up kept her on third before Luna got Megan Crosby to fly out to center field to keep it scoreless.
Meanwhile, McLeod allowed just one base runner in her first three innings, but Lamar managed to put something together in the fourth with consecutive singles from Brittany Rodriguez and Brynn Baca to start the inning. But the Bearkat sophomore was not phased, getting two straight pop ups before a fly out from Samantha Cetta ended the inning with no damage done.
The fifth went by without any damage and the sixth looked like it would as well until Baca was hit by a pitch to extend the inning. Sable Hankins kept the inning going with a single to left-center, moving Baca up to third before stealing second herself. That set the stage for Meeuwsen who shot a 2-1 pitch back up the middle for a single that plated both runs and gave the Cardinals all the runs they would need.
Codi Carpenter gave the Bearkats some hope in their final at-bat, singling to open up the inning; however, Luna would close it out with by retiring the next three hitters, including pinch hitter Hannah Marino on strikes to end the game.