HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Sam Houston scored runs in the first three innings including a four run third inning to pick up a Southland Conference softball series opening 6-1 win over McNeese Friday night.
The series will conclude with a noon doubleheader Saturday. Streaming and live stats will available. All links can be found on mcneesesports.com.
The loss drops McNeese to 10-16 overall and 2-2 in league play while Sam Houston improves to 5-13 overall and 2-2 in league play with the win. Jil Poullard put the Cowgirls up 1-0 in the first inning when the Cowgirls’ second batter of the game hit her first career homerun over the centerfield wall. Poullard’s hit was one of only four hits for the Cowgirls in the game. Cori McCrary, Haylee Brinlee and Tayler Strother all picked up singles.
The Cowgirls stranded nine baserunners and left the bases loaded in the fifth inning with one. The Cowgirls never got the timely hit to push any runs across the plate.
Sam Houston tied the game at one apiece with a run in first inning when Cowgirl starter Ashley Vallejo got off to a rocky start and never got on track. Vallejo gave up a leadoff single, hit the next batter then walked Brooke Malia to load the bases. After Vallejo got Hannah Scheaffer to pop out to third for the first out, she hit Ellie Grill to allow the tying run to score. Vallejo got the next two batters out to get out of the inning.
Sam Houston took a 2-1 lead in the second inning when Vallejo gave up a leadoff solo homerun to Kyndal Kutac. The Bearkats carried that momentum into the third inning where they scored four more runs on four hits to lead 6-1.Courtney White’s two RBI double put the Bearkats up 4-1 and chased Vallejo from the circle. Jenna Edwards replaced Vallejo and gave up an RBI single to Kutac, the first batter she faced. Edwards then gave up an RBI double to Kylie Hobbs to extend the Bearkat lead to 6-1.
McNeese had a chance to score in the fifth inning when Caleigh Cross and McCrary led off with back-to-back walks. Poullard then reached on a fielder’s choice but McCrary was thrown out at second for the first out. Poullard later stole second and Aaliyah Ortiz drew a walk to load the bases. With a 3-1 count, Alayis Seneca popped up to the catcher for the second out and Toni Perrin flew out the right field to end the Cowgirl threat.
The Cowgirls had three more players reach base in the last two innings but failed to score.Sam Houston ended the game with nine hits and left eight runners stranded. Megan McDonald and Kutac led the Bearkats with two hits apiece.
Vallejo fell to 1-5 on the year with the loss after allowing five earned runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings. Edwards gave up one earned run on three hits in the final 3 2/3 innings.
Regan Dunn and Christine Billmeier combined for the win with Dunn improving to 3-3 after allowing the one run on three hits in 5.0 innings. Billmeier allowed one hit in two innings.