HAMMOND, La. – The Sam Houston State Bearkats got a seventh-inning grand slam from Tiffany Thompson to erase a three-run deficit, but the Southeastern Louisiana Lions answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to close out a series sweep on Saturday at North Oak Park.
With the loss, Sam Houston (20-25, 11-13 SLC) fell to a tie with Northwestern State for seventh place in the conference with Northwestern State. Meanwhile, the win put the Lions (26-25, 12-12 SLC) in a great position going into the final weekend of Southland play tied at fifth place with Central Arkansas.
Thompson picked up all four of her RBI on one swing in the seventh, while Megan Crosby also drove two runs across the plate and Tori Koerselman added the other Bearkat run. Lindsey McLeod picked up her seventh loss of her 2017 campaign in a 1.2 inning appearance on the circle.
Kalyn Watts continued to be a thorn in the Bearkats side on the base paths with four steals in the finale. The Lions' Mahalia Gibson also drove in three runs and finished 2-for-2 for the game, while Maddie Edmonston delivered the walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh. Kasey Nielson only needed one inning in the circle to pick up her second win of her senior campaign for the Lions.
The Kats travel to Houston to take on the Houston Baptist Huskies next weekend to close out the 2017 Southland tour looking to clinch their spot in the Southland Tournament for the 14th time in program history. The Huskies are coming fresh off a series sweep of Northwestern State and are in position to make a push for the conference tournament. The first pitch of the Friday doubleheader is scheduled for 1 P.M at Husky Field.
The Bearkats jumped on the Lions early in the series finale when Megan McDonald reached on a Lion error. Thanks to a sac bunt and a one out single McDonald found herself at third base early in the game. Two batters later Crosby would push McDonald across home plate for the early Bearkat lead.
The Lions didn't waste any time getting their offense going as they churned out four runs in their first frame of the day. Watts got things going with a leadoff single before stealing second quickly after. Thanks to two walks Gibson found herself at the plate with the bases loaded before she cleared them with a triple to right center. The next batter, Mattie Ort, drove Gibson home on the first pitch she saw with a grounder to second.
McDonald started the Bearkat frame with a single down the left side, after a Bearkat was hit by a pitch Codi Carpenter pushed both the runners to second and third with a well-executed sacrifice bunt. Koerselman and Crosby would drive in each of the batters in their at bats to bring the Lion lead down to one.
Whitney Sullivan lead off the inning putting the first pitch she saw in play with a single up the middle. After a sac bunt and a ground out Watts delivered with a two out RBI single to left field.
Watts showed her skills on the bags after drawing a two out walk when she stole second and third. Jaquelyn Ramon then drove in Watts with a RBI single to center field.
The Bearkats put their rally caps on in their last frame of the game with the first three batters, Hannah Marino, Kaitlynn Dawson, and McDonald all got on base to start off the inning. Freshman standout Tiffany Thompson then delivered in big-time fashion with a grand slam to put the Kats ahead by one.
The Lions didn't go down without a fight in the final frame of the game eventually winning in walk-off fashion. With two outs and runners on first and second Alli Daigle drove home a run when she reached off a Bearkat error. Edmonston then delivered for the Lions with a walk off RBI single down the left side.