HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats ran their win streak to five in a row for the second time this season on Tuesday, knocking off Texas Southern, 5-1, at the Bearkat Softball Complex.
The Kats (12-11) scored in four of their six trips to the plate and the pitching duo of Tayler Atkinson and Lindsey McLeod allowed just three hits on the night. Atkinson picked up her fifth win of the season with a 5.0-inning start, striking out a season-high six hitters while allowing just two hits and one run before giving way to McLeod.
The sophomore righty made quick work of the Tigers (7-6) in her 2.0 innings of work, allowing just one single and striking out four of the seven hitters she faced to earn her second save of the year.
Seven Bearkats picked up at least one hit, including Kaitlynn Dawson, who went 2-for-3 for the third straight game and finished with a double and an RBI. Tori Koerselman scored twice from the leadoff spot while Megan McDonald, Codi Carpenter and Ashley Goetz all added RBI.
After Atkinson stranded a runner in the top of the first, the Bearkat bats quickly got going in the bottom half of the inning. McDonald walked with one out and moved to second on a Tiger throwing error. Kaitlynn Dawson then singled to center field and a second TSU miscue allowed McDonald to cross the plate with the first Sam Houston run of the evening. Carpenter followed that by one-hopping a double off the left-field wall, scoring Dawson to give the Kats a 2-0 lead.
Texas Southern got on the board in its half of the third when Gisella Paranich led off the inning with a home run over the left-field fence. But Atkinson settled down after that, retiring each of the next three hitters she faced to keep the score at 2-1.
Sam Houston immediately answered back in its half of the third on a one-out RBI from Dawson. Koerselman set up the inning by drawing a leadoff walk and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt from McDonald. Dawson then launched the first pitch she saw from TSU starter Tiffany Marshall off the right-center field wall to score Koerselman from second and up the lead back to 3-1.
Koerselman started another Bearkat rally in the top of the fifth, leading off with a walk and quickly stealing second base to get into scoring position. That set thing sup for McDonald, who got her first hit of the game by singling back up the middle to get Koerselman home and give the Kats a 4-1 lead going into the sixth.
Sam Houston added another run to its tally in the sixth after Thompson got things going with a one-out double into the left-field corner. Ashley Goetz then took a 0-1 pitch back up the middle to pick up her first RBI of the game and chase Marshall from the game.
The Kats will now hit the road for a tough conference test this weekend at McNeese. The series will open up with a single game on Friday evening before the teams wrap up the weekend with a Saturday doubleheader scheduled to start at noon.