NATCHITOCHES, LA— Sophomore Caroline Settle threw a complete game gem Wednesday in the Cowgirls’ 1-0 shutout win over Southeastern Louisiana to keep their Southland Conference Tournament hopes alive.
Settle (8-8) allowed only two hits, two walks and struck out two in her second shutout of the season.
McNeese (29-29) will play the winner of the Stephen F. Austin/Northwestern State game at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
McNeese missed a few chances to score runs during the game beginning in the bottom of the second inning when the Cowgirls started the inning with back-to-back hits by Demi Boudreaux and Cori McCrary. A fielder’s choice by Toni Perrin got Boudreaux out at third then McCrary was caught stealing third before the inning ended on a Sara Geier ground out to the pitcher.
Cowgirl starter Caroline Settle gave up her first hit of the game in the top of the fourth but Settle helped her cause by getting a ground out then a strikeout to leave the go ahead run stranded on second.
McNeese took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single to right center by Cori McCrary that scored pinch runner Alayis Seneca. The Cowgirls couldn’t scratch anymore runs across the plate as Toni Perrin grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Cowgirls missed a golden opportunity to add to their lead in the bottom of the seventh when Justyce McClain led off with a single up the middle. After a fly out to left field by Kaylee Lopez, Aubree Turbeville was hit by a pitch and Demi Boudreaux reached on an error to load the bases. McNeese stranded the bases when Cori McCrary fouled out to third and Toni Perrin flew out to right.
Settle came up huge once again in the seventh when SE La.'s leadoff batter, Rebecca Skains reached second on a two-base error. Skains went to third on a sac bunt ground out. Settle got Mima Doucet to pop out to second for the second out then got Ali McCoy to ground out to short to end the game.