BEAUMONT, Texas—McNeese softball picked up a Southland Conference doubleheader here Friday (6-4, 5-2) over Lamar to secure the series. The final game of the series is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday.
With the win, McNeese improves to 32-16 overall and 14-6 in the SLC. Lamar falls to 24-23 overall and 9-11 in the SLC.
McNeese combined to pick up 20 hits on the day including seven doubles and two home runs. The Cowgirls opened the series with 12 hits in game one then picked up eight in the nightcap.
In the opening game, Lamar took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning off two solo home runs. Kelly Meeuwsen led the bottom half of the fourth off with a solo homer to right centerfield then two batters later Shelby Henderson gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead with a solo homerun to centerfield. Lamar scored another run in the fifth inning to extend its lead to 3-0.
Carleigh Chaumont’s third home run of the year, a two run home run to left center in the sixth inning gave McNeese its first lead (4-3). Pinch hitter Brenique Wright got the Cowgirls on the board with double to right field that scored both Padyn Williams and Aubree Turbeville to cut the Lamar lead to 3-2.
The Cowgirl lead didn’t last long as the Cardinals tied the game at four all in the bottom of the sixth on a two out bases loaded walk by Savana Guidry that scored pinch runner Tristin Anders for the tying run.
McNeese retook the lead in the top of the seventh when Erika Piancastelli drew a leadoff walk then scored on a double to right center by Morgan Catron. Catron went to third on an attempt to throw out Piancastelli at home. Alexandria Saldivar’s sacrifice fly to left score Catron from third to give McNeese a 6-4 lead.
Lamar made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh when the Cardinals’ leadoff batter Meeuwsen drew a walk. After a Cowgirl pitching change brought Amber Coons in the game to relieve Cowgirl starter Alexsandra Flores, Coons got the first batter she faced to fly out to right for the first out. A wild pitch sent Meeuwsen to second before Coons walked Shelby Henderson. Coons got the next two batters to hit infield pop ups to end the game.
McNeese pounded out 12 hits and was led by a 4 for 4 plate appearance by Turbeville. Both Chaumont and Catron ended the game going 2 for 3 and Chaumont and Wright both each had two RBI.
Flores improved to 15-7 with the win after allowing four runs on six hits, five walks and four strikeouts. Coons picked up her first save of the season after facing four batters in one inning of work.
The Cowgirls scored runs in the first three innings in game two to jump out to a 4-0 lead.
Justyce McClain led the game off with a double to right center then move to third on a ground out before scoring on a sacrifice fly to left by Catron.
McNeese took a 2-0 lead with a single run in the second when Taylor Edwards doubled to left center before coming home on a double to left by Tayler Strother.
The Cowgirls added two more runs in the third on a RBI single to left center by Chaumont for a 3-0 lead then Edwards drew a bases loaded walk for the 4-0 lead.
Lamar cut the McNeese lead in half with two runs on three hits in the fourth. An RBI double to right center by Henderson scored Meeuwsen who led the bottom half of the inning off with a single then moved into scoring position on a wild pitch before scoring on Henderson’s double.
Henderson attempted to score on a bunt single by Kendall Talley but Cowgirl shortstop Strother threw her out at home. Talley ended up at third on the play and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Elizabeth Castillo.
Piancastelli gave McNeese a 5-2 lead in the sixth inning with her 16th home run of the season off a solo shot to center field. The long ball tied the Southland Conference career record of 69 held by Jessica Rogers of UTSA.
McNeese picked up eight hits in the game with five being doubles. Piancastelli led McNeese with two hits including a double and a home run. McClain, Saldivar, Chaumont, Edwards and Strother also had one double each.
Freshman Ashley Koncir improved to 5-1 with the complete game victory. Koncir gave up two runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and didn’t allow a walk.
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