SAN MARCOS – A pair of big innings were too much for the Sam Houston State Bearkats to overcome on Friday morning as they dropped their second straight game of the Bobcat Classic, 8-2, to Portland State at the Bobcat Softball Stadium.
Portland State (1-0) got a first-inning grand slam from Kaela Morrow to open it up and then added four more runs in the top of the fourth to open it up. The Vikings would finish with seven hits against three Bearkat (0-2) pitchers with sophomore Casey Kauder taking the loss after allowing four runs in 1.1 innings of work. Freshman Darby Fitzpatrick would have the most effective day of any of the Bearkat arms with 3.2 shutout innings of relief and a pair of strikeouts.
Taylar Fuselier provided the only offense of the early part of game for the Kats with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the third, and finished with a pair of hits in the game; however, Sam Houston was not able to do much more against PSU starter Alyssa Burk until the home half of the fifth.
The Viking right-hander picked up the win with a complete-game effort, allowing just four hits while striking out four and walking four more.
The Bearkats will have their busiest day of the Bobcat Classic on Saturday when they take on both Texas State and Portland State once again. First pitch against the is set for 10 a.m. in the day’s opener vs the Bobcats, followed by a 3 p.m. first pitch against the Vikings at the Bobcat Softball Stadium. Both games can be followed via live stats at samhouston.statbroadcast.com or by following @BearkatsSB on Twitter.
TOP OF THE FIRST
It was an auspicious start for the Bearkats in the first at-bat for the Vikings as Portland State staked itself to a 4-0 lead. A single and a Bearkat throwing error quickly got the Vikings going and a walk to Darian Lindsey loaded the bases with nobody out. Then Morrow, the PSU catcher, delivered the inning’s big blow, smashing an 0-1 pitch over the left-field fence for a grand slam. Kauder responded by setting the next three hitters down, including a strikeout of Ashley Doyle to end the frame, but the damage was already done.
BOTTOM OF THE THIRD
Burk was able to set each of the first six Bearkats of the game down in order before Fuselier got the Bearkats on the board. The Sam Houston third baseman launched an 0-1 pitch over the left-field fence to open the inning for the first homer of her Bearkat career. The next three Kats would go down in order, but Sam Houston had trimmed the lead to 4-1.
TOP OF THE FOURTH
Despite getting that run back, the Vikings answered with another big inning their next time up. After Bailey got the first out of the inning, a hit batter and a single opened up the rally. A walk to Jessica Flanagan loaded the bases in front of Marissa Bruno and Bruno then provided the big hit of the inning, shooting a triple into the right-center field gap that plated three runs. Two batters later Morrow picked up her fifth RBI of the game on a single to center field, giving Portland State an 8-1 lead.
BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH
Sam Houston was able to get back on the board in the fifth, using a pair of walks to Fuselier and Megan Crosby to get a threat going with one away in the inning. Andrie then shot the second pitch she saw from Burk into right-center field, doubling in Fuselier to cut the lead to 8-2.
BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH
The Kats had another chance to get something across in its last trip to the late, but was unable to do so. A one-out single from Fuselier followed a walk, but Burk would manage to sit down pinch hitter Hunter Ervin on strikes before Sheridan Fisher lined out to shortstop to end it.