By Tiffany Blackmon - bio | email
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – The McNeese State Cowgirls defeated the Texas State Bobcats, 3-2 in a rematch of last year's title game to win the Southland Conference Softball Tournament. With the victory, the Cowgirls are now headed to the NCAA Tournament.
Last year, the Bobcats won the title in Lake Charles, LA, on the Cowgirls home field. This year, the Cowgirls captured their victory in San Marcos, TX, on the Bobcats home field.
The Bobcats jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the Cowgirls tied the score in the fourth on a two run home run by Molly Guidry.
Later, the Cowgirls took the lead in the fifth, after Claire Terracina stole second and advanced to third on an infield single by Liz Morvant. The Bobcats attempted to throw Morvant out at first, but a throwing error by third baseman Jenna Emery allowed Terracina to score, giving the Cowgirls a 3-2 lead.
Relieve pitcher Kayla Shepherd gave up two hits in 6.2 shutout innings. Shepherd improved to 10-8 and picked up her second win of the tournament.
Pitcher Megan Bond was named the tournament MVP. Bond posted two shut out victories in the tournament. She started the championship game and allowed one run.
The Cowgirls were seeded fourth in the tournament. After the game, head coach Natalie Poole spoke about her team's victory.
"We've had to come through a lot of obstacles, people don't believe that Louisiana teams can do it and people have not had a lot of faith in us. You know, we're definitely the underdogs when it comes to the representation of the tournament."
Poole continued, "You know, I just feel like for these kids that weren't sure that it could happen, now they have a vision and that's what I wanted to give to them was a vision, that no matter where we are in the conference, no matter what happens to us that we can do it, that they can overcome and they have."
The Cowgirls will learn who they face first in the NCAA Tournament Sunday at 9 p.m.