LAKE CHARLES—McNeese softball split its Southland Conference doubleheader with Southeastern Louisiana here Friday night, dropping the first game 6-2 and taking the nightcap 11-4 in six innings. Both teams will conclude their regular season with a 12 p.m. rubber game which will determine the final seeding’s for both teams in next week’s Southland Conference Tournament.
Following Saturday’s game, seniors Shanice Hagler, Shelbi Strickland, Hailey Drew, Morgan Catron, Erika Piancastelli, and Carleigh Chaumont will be honored.
Southeastern La. (35-18, 18-8 SLC) took an early 2-0 lead in the third inning of game one on a two RBI tripled to right center field by Kinsey Nichols. McNeese (35-17, 17-9 SLC) cut the lead in half in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Piancastelli. The Lady Lions came back to score four runs in the sixth inning on two hits and one Cowgirl error to extend their lead to 6-1. A sacrifice fly by Taylor Strother in the sixth scored Brenique Wright but that was all the runs McNeese could push across the plate as they left eight runner stranded including five in scoring position.
Both teams recorded six hits apiece with Piancastelli leading McNeese with a 3-for3 plate appearance and one of two RBI’s. Carleigh Chaumont and Strother picked up the other two Cowgirl hits.
Alexsandra Flores took the loss, falling to 16-9 on the season. Flores gave up six earned runs on six hits, struck out two and walked two in the complete game.
SE La. was led by Jaquelyn Ramon’s two hits while Alley McDonald improved to 5-4 on the year with the complete game win after giving up two earned runs on six hits and allowed two walks.
In the nightcap, McNeese showed it's power in the lineup by scoring its first eight runs on three home runs.
After SE La. took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Morgan Catron gave McNeese a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the inning with her 12th home run of the season that went over the right centerfield wall.
Two innings later, McNeese extended its lead to 8-1 on a solo home run by Piancastelli, her 19th of the season then Brenique Wright hit a three-run homer, her ninth of the year in almost the same place Catron hit her in the first inning.
SE La. would get a run back in the fourth but the Cowgirls would score three in the bottom half of the inning when Justyce McClain scored on an error for a 9-2 lead. A sacrifice fly by Alexandria Saldivar and a RBI single by Wright put McNeese up 11-2.
The Lady Lions wouldn’t go away that easy as they avoided the five inning run-rule loss by scoring two runs in the top of the fifth and the Cowgirls couldn’t match those runs in the bottom of the inning.
The Cowgirls did pick up the run-rule win in the sixth when Chaumont’s double down the left field line scored Catron to end the game with a 12-4 Cowgirl win.
McNeese outhit SE La. 9-7 and was led by McClain, Chaumont and Wright with two hits apiece. Wright ended the game with four RBI, Catron had three and Chaumont had two.
Freshman Ashley Koncir improved to 6-2 on the season with the complete game. Koncir gave up four runs on seven hits and walked only one batter while SE La. used three pitchers in the game. Starter Rachel Hayes took the loss to fall to 15-8. Hayes gave up eight earned runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings.
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