LAKE CHARLES—McNeese softball began its home opening Southland Conference series with an 8-0, six inning run rule victory over Incarnate Word here Friday night behind 13 hits and a solid pitching performance from sophomore Alexsandra Flores.
The series will conclude with a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon in its Military/First Responder’s Day. All military personnel will be admitted free with an ID.
“I thought our kids did a good thing at swinging at strikes tonight,” said head coach James Landreneau. “We didn’t chase pitches and we had good discipline and we were able to play some really good defense behind Flores. Flores was on and off the rubber tonight, she was efficient and kept them off balance when she needed too. The main thing is she attacked the strike zone when she needed to and allowed the defense to play behind her.”
McNeese (20-10, 3-4 SLC) came out aggressive at the plate and never let up. The Cowgirls put at least one run on the board in each inning, scoring two runs in both the first and fourth innings.
Nine Cowgirls who were credited with an at bat picked up at least one hit with junior Justyce McClain picking up three hits to lead the Cowgirls. Seniors Hailey Drew and Carleigh Chaumont both had two hits apiece. Senior Morgan Catron and sophomore Brenique Wright both picked up two RBI apiece.
“I’m just trying to stay relaxed when I’m at the plate and not trying to think to much, that is when I’m at my best- when I don’t think. I try to put good quality at bats together and when I do that overall, good results happen,” said Catron.
The Cowgirls took advantage of an early Cardinal error to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning before a single up the middle by Alexandria Saldivar gave McNeese a 2-0 lead.
Senior Shanice Hagler scored the third run of the game in the second inning when she led off with a triple to center. A Chaumont single brought Hagler home for the 3-0 lead.
After a bases loaded walk by Wright gave McNeese a 4-0 lead in the third, Catron hit her eighth home run of the season, a two run shot over the left field wall for a 6-0 lead in the fourth inning.
Drew’s second hit of the game in the sixth scored McClain to end the game with the 8-0 win.
While the Cowgirls were attacking at the plate, Flores was taking care of business in the circle. Flores picked up her third shutout of the season to improve to 8-4 overall. Flores gave up three hits, struck out three and didn’t allow a walk.
“It makes my job super easy knowing my defense has my back. I know that they are going to pick me up when I get in a jam,” said Flores.
The loss dropped Incarnate Word to 6-16 overall and 2-5 in conference play.
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