CONWAY, Ar.—The 25th ranked McNeese softball team opened the 2018 Southland Conference season with a doubleheader loss to Central Arkansas here Friday night dropping the opening game 8-6 and the nightcap 2-1 to fall to 16-7 overall and 0-2 in league play. The series will conclude with a single game at 1 p.m. Saturday.
In the opening game, UCA (9-9, 2-0 SLC) scored seven runs on five Cowgirl errors in the second inning to jump out to a 7-0 lead, chasing Cowgirl starter Caroline Settle from the circle giving the ball to Ashely Koncir in the third.
The Cowgirls got on the scoreboard with two runs in the third on a two run home run by Morgan Catron but UCA got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning on an Oakley Sisemore double to lead 8-2.
Neither team pushed any runs across the plate for the next three innings until McNeese made a little comeback in the top of the seventh by scoring four runs but still fell short. A Megan Holmes single up the middle with two outs cut the UCA lead to 8-6. With the bases loaded the Cowgirls were in the right part of their lineup, the top of the order with Justyce McClain at the plate. McClain couldn’t come up with the clutch hit this time around, instead she grounded out to the pitcher to end the threat.
Both teams picked up nine hits apiece with Erika Piancastelli leading the Cowgirls with a 2-for3 plate appearance with a double. Settle took the loss to fall to 5-3 on the season.
In the nightcap, UCA scored single runs in the fourth and fifth for a 2-0 lead. McNeese scored its run when Lauren Brown led the sixth inning off with a single to the pitcher. Brown went to second on a single by McClain and to third on a fielder’s choice by Piancastelli before scoring on a Catron sacrifice fly.
The Cowgirls left the tying run stranded on second base with two outs when Holmes grounded out to short to end the game. McNeese was held to four hits in the game with McClain claiming three hits.
Alexsandra Flores took the game 2 loss, giving up two runs on four hits with six strikeouts and one walk. The loss drops Flores to 6-3 on the year.
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