The 2016-17 season was filled with highlights and headlines for the Sam Houston State Bearkats. Awards were won, records were broken and five Southland Conference titles made their way back to Huntsville.

With the upcoming 2017-18 athletic season nearing its start, Bearkat Athletics will take a look back at the 2016-17 season throughout the summer months, highlighting the best of the past year.

Continue to keep tabs on and follow @BearkatSports on Twitter to catch the top stories of 2016-17 as they are unveiled.

Game Story: Kats Get Dramatic, Advance In SLC Tournament (5/10)

HUNTSVILLE – It was not an easy road for the Bearkat Softball team to extend its year into the postseason, but once there, they made the most of it in their opening game of the Southland Conference Tournament.

Sam Houston entered the last weekend of the regular season still having not secured a berth to the SLC Tournament but swept its way past Houston Baptist to close out the year and headed to Conway, Ark., as the No. 4 seed with a meeting against host Central Arkansas awaiting in the opening round.

The Kats had taken two of three games against the Bears in Huntsville earlier in the year, but things did not come so easily in the tournament's opening round. After leaving nine runners on base in the first five innings of the game, including leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, the Bearkats finally were able to break through in the bottom of the sixth against UCA's all-conference arm Kayla Gomness.

A UCA error to open the inning eventually scored the go-ahead run when Ashley Goetz scored on a ground ball from Megan McDonald, but that lead would be short-lived. A 1-out double and a hit batter with two outs gave UCA a 2-out threat in the top of the seventh and despite being down to their last strike, the Bears were still able to take advantage when Hannah Stirton lined a 2-run double into the right-center field gap to put UCA ahead 2-1.

However, the Kats had some magic left for their last at-bat as well as they put two runners in scoring position with nobody out on a single from Hannah Marino and a double by Codi Carpenter. Megan Crosby then tied it up with a sacrifice fly and after Carpenter moved up a base on a ground out, Emily Bounds beat out an infield single that allowed Carpenter to score the winning run in walk-off fashion.

Best of 2016-17 in Bearkat Athletics Schedule
No. 20 – Softball Sweeps HBU To Clinch SLC Tournament Berth

No. 19 – Football Clinches Southland Conference Title
No. 18 – Baseball Opens SLC Play With 13 Straight Wins
No. 17 – Men's Golf Takes Second At Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational
No. 16 – Briscoe Throws 7 TD As Kats Blast ‘Jacks In Battle Of The Piney Woods
No. 15 – Gettwart Leads Women's Tennis To Win At First-Place Lamar
No. 14 – Three Bearkats Reach 1,000-Point Mark For Careers
No. 13 – Women's golf wins school-record five tournaments
No. 12 – Offensive outburst leads Women's Basketball to win over Demons
No. 11 – Women's Tennis Clinches First Tourney Berth Since 2013
No. 10 – Bowling Earns Berth In NCAA Championships
No. 9 – Volleyball Makes Run To SLC Tournament Finals
No. 8 – Softball Walks Off With Win Over UCA In SLC Tournament
No. 7 – July 19
No. 6 – July 21
No. 5 – July 24
No. 4 – July 26
No. 3 – July 28
No. 2 – July 31
No. 1 – Aug. 2