LAKE CHARLES—McNeese softball completed its Southland Conference series sweep over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Joe Miller Field Saturday with a 10-2 (5 inning) run rule win and senior Erika Piancastelli added two more career records to her long list of accomplishments.
“We did a good job today. Settle got us in an out pretty quick,” said McNeese head coach James Landreneau. “We were able to get some base runners on quick. J-Mac (Justyce McClain) and Erika set the tempo. The biggest thing for us was, could we get runs in- we were patient at the plate and got strikes to hit and we stayed composed and let the game come to us and not try to do to much.”
Piancastelli became the McNeese career hits leader with 231 and the Southland Conference career RBI leader with 193 in her last at bat of the game. It was only fitting that her hit and RBI in the fifth inning was what gave the Cowgirls the victory. The records are her 13 and 14th overall records. The hits record is her sixth McNeese career record and the RBI is her third Southland Conference career record.
McNeese (27-13, 10-5 SLC) for the second game in the series won by the run rule. The Cowgirls took game two of the series 9-0 on Friday.
The Cowgirls picked up where they left off in Friday’s game 2 by equaling the amount of hits, picking up eight again Saturday.
McNeese opened up a 7-0 lead in the first inning off four hits and taking advantage of two struggling Islander pitchers in the inning.
The Cowgirls put two more runs on the board via an Islander error and a sacrifice fly by Tayler Strother in the second inning to take a 9-0 lead.
Texas A&M-CC (9-28-1, 1-14 SLC) avoided the shutout by scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning on two hits and two Cowgirl errors.
In the bottom of the fifth, Justyce McClain who ended the game going 3-for-3 and extended her games reaching base to 32 with a leadoff single up the middle.
“I just wanted to get on base and do what I can for my team because I was pretty confident that if I got on they would do the job and finish it off and get me in,” said McClain.
Justyce moved into scoring position on a stolen base then when to third on an error. Piancastelli broke both career records and ended the game with her single to left field for her second hit of the game and third RBI of the game.
“I don’t really know that I’m about to break records, I just hear about them when they announce them. It’s always nice being with my team during those moments. To be honest I was just trying to poke the ball through and I literally poked it through. I’m really just trying to do the best for my team right now,” Piancastelli said.
Lauren Brown and Strother also had a good day at the plate. Brown was 2-for-2 with a walk and scored two runs while Strother had three RBI.
Freshman Caroline Settle (7-6) picked up her first career shutout with the complete game victory. She gave up two unearned runs, five hits, walked two and struck out two.
“I was just trying to keep the ball and my hand dry in this kind of weather so I could spin the ball,” said Settle. “Its easy to pitch with that kind of lead especially when you have these two- referring to McClain and Piancastelli.”
McNeese will travel to Baylor for single games on Tuesday and Wednesday before returning home on the weekend to host Nicholls in a conference series.
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