LAKE CHARLES, La. - McNeese softball recorded a season-high 12 hits and scored four runs in the opening frame against Lamar Friday night and never looked back in its 7-2 Southland Conference series-opening win. The Cowgirls were also busy on the base paths, stealing seven bases. The series will conclude with a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday.
McNeese (15-19, 6-4 SLC) picked up a season-high 12 hits against the Cardinals and were led by a 3 for 4 plate appearance by freshman Chloe Gomez. Gomez also scored two runs and picked up three stolen bases.
Senior Cori McCrary and freshman Aaliyah Ortiz both had two hits apiece and Ortiz led McNeese with two RBI.
Three of the 12 hits were extra-base hits including doubles by McCrary and Ortiz and a triple by Jil Poullard.
Lamar (4-28, 0-10 SLC) took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI single through the left side that scored Aleka Xayaseng. Xayaseng led the Cardinals at the plate tonight, going 3 for 4 and scored one run. Hannah Kinkade was 2 for 3 and scored the other run.
The Cowgirls responded with four runs on five hits in the bottom of the inning. McCrary led the game off with a double to left field, went to third on a single through the left side by Gomez before tying the game on an RBI single up the middle by Toni Perrin.
A bases-loaded double to left by Ortiz scored Kaylee Lopez and Gomez for a 3-1 lead. Haylee Brinlee’s sacrifice fly to centerfield brought Perrin home for a 4-1 lead.
Another Cowgirl run in the fourth inning put McNeese up 5-1. Jil Poullard led the inning off with a triple to left-center. Following a Lamar pitching change, McCrary brought Poullard home on a ground out to the Lamar shortstop.
Lamar added another run in the fifth on an RBI single by pinch hitter Victoria Garivey that scored Kinkade. Kincade reached base on a one-out single to left.
McNeese closed out the scoring with two runs in the sixth when the Cowgirls used the base paths in their favor. McCrary stole home for a 6-2 lead then Lopez’s single up the middle scored Gomez for a 7-2 lead.
Jenna Edwards won her fourth straight game to improve to 5-1 on the year. Edwards allowed eight hits, two earned runs, and one strikeout in 5.0 innings. Freshman Ashley Vallejo relieved Edwards for the final two innings, facing six batters and picking up two strikeouts.