HUNTSVILLE, Texas—McNeese softball was looking for its first Southland Conference win of the season against Sam Houston State (11-14, 4-0 SLC) here Friday, instead they came away with a 5-0 loss to fall to 17-10 overall and 0-4 in league play. The 0-4 conference start for McNeese is the first time the Cowgirls begin conference play winless since 2011, when they began the SLC 0-5. The series will conclude with a doubleheader Saturday at noon.
The Cowgirls struggled at the plate all night, managing only three hits off Sam Houston State’s starter Lindsey McCleod with all three hits coming from Hailey Drew. Two of Drew’s hits were doubles. The Cowgirls’ first five batters in the lineup ended the game 0-12 at the plate with six walks. McCleod walked Erika Piancastelli all four times she faced her and ended the game with 10 strikeouts which is a season high for McNeese.
The Cowgirls didn’t help their cause by leaving nine base runners stranded, eight of which were in scoring position. Twice in the game, in the first and fourth innings, McNeese left runners stranded on second and third base with one out and couldn’t get the hit it need to push a run across the plate.
Cowgirls starter Caroline Settle (5-5) got off to a rocky start as she gave up three runs on four hits in the first inning that allowed SHSU to take a 3-0 lead. Over the next two innings, Settles held the Bearkats scoreless and allowed only two hits before being replaced by Ashley Koncir in the fourth inning.
Koncir retired the first six batters she faced before giving up a single to Megan Crosby in the sixth inning. Three batters later, Koncir gave up her second hit of the game, a two run home run to pinch hitter Katie Andrie that gave SHSU a 5-0 lead.
Sam Houston State picked up eight hits in the game with Sheridan Fisher and Tiffany Thompson leading the Bearkats with two apiece.
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