HUNTSVILLE, Texas—McNeese softball’s offense continued to struggle here Saturday in a Southland Conference doubleheader loss (6-0, 4-0) at Sam Houston as the Cowgirls were swept following its 6-1 loss to the Bearkats Friday night.
McNeese (10-18, 2-4 SLC) was outscored 16-1 in the series with the only run coming off a solo home run by Jil Poullard in Friday’s opener. Sam Houston improved to 7-13 overall and 4-2 in league play.
Sam Houston got solid pitching the entire series and that continued Saturday with freshman Mika Vento tossing a one-hit shutout in the first game of today’s doubleheader. Sam Houston used two innings to score all its runs. The only Cowgirl hit of the game came from Poullard’s single to center in the sixth inning.
The Bearkats opened up a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning on five hits off starter Whitney Tate then added two more runs in the sixth.
In the fourth inning, Tate walked the leadoff batter then gave up two straight hits to load the bases. A single through the right side by Kylie Hobbs scored Megan McDonald for a 1-0 lead. The Cowgirls then turned their 24th double play of the season for the first two outs. A single to short by Courtney White scored another run and a double down the left-field line by Hannah Scheaffer scored two more runs.
The Bearkats added two more insurance runs in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 6-0. A double steal by the Bearkats allowed Emily Telg to slide safely home for a 5-0 lead then a squeeze bunt by Brook Malia scored Brooklyn Devine from third for the sixth Bearkat run of the game.
The Cowgirls had a chance to avoid the shutout in the sixth when pinch hitter Tiffany Steczo drew a leadoff walk. After a strikeout by Cori McCrary, Poullard’s single moved Caleigh Cross into scoring position but Vento got both Aaliyah Ortiz and Chloe Gomez to fly out to end the inning.
The loss drops Tate to 3-7 on the year after allowing six earned runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Vento improved to 3-2 on the year with the win.
In the series finale, McNeese missed an early opportunity to score when the Cowgirls left the bases loaded with one out in the first inning.
Sam Houston took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning off a McNeese throwing error that allowed McDonald to score.
After hitting Steczo, Sam Houston pitcher Regan Dunn retired the next 10 batters she faced before Padyn Williams’ double to left in the fourth inning.
Dunn helped her cause in the circle by hitting her first career home run in the fifth inning for a 2-0 lead.
The Cowgirls got a runner in scoring position in the sixth inning when McCrary picked up a one-out double to left but was stranded after a strikeout by Steczo and a ground out by pinch hitter Kennedy Reynolds.
Sam Houston added two more runs in the sixth on RBI singles by Grill and Kutac to extend the lead to 4-0.
Saleen Flores (4-5) took the loss after allowing three earned runs on five hits with one walk and one strikeout. Dunn improved to 4-3 on the year with the win.