SAN ANTONIO, Texas—McNeese softball split its Southland Conference doubleheader against Incarnate Word Saturday with both games going extra innings.
McNeese (25-22, 14-7 SLC) picked up the 3-1 first game win in eight innings to claim the series before falling 3-2 in nine innings in the series finale. The loss snaps the Cowgirls’ seven-game winning streak as the Cardinals improve to 15-22 overall and 8-13 in the SLC.
In the opening game, McNeese scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie and Cowgirl starter Whitney Tate (7-7) got UIW out in order in the bottom half of the inning to end the game to preserve the 3-1 win in the first game of a doubleheader.
Tate was masterful in the circle in the complete-game victory where she gave up one run on four hits with five strikeouts. Three of the four hits allowed came in the second inning. After giving up those three hits in the second inning, she retired the next eight batters she faced before giving up her fourth hit of the game in the fifth inning. She ended the game, retiring the last 10 batters she faced to seal the win.
McNeese picked up seven hits in the game and was led by Jil Poullard’s two hits including a double.
UIW took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a two-out single by Hailey Jackson.
McNeese tied the game in the next inning on an RBI single by Toni Perrin and the game remained tied after seven innings, sending the game to extra innings.
The Cowgirls scored the go-ahead runs in the eighth when Jil Poullard led the inning off with a double to right field. A sac bunt by Perrin moved Poullard to third then a squeeze bunt by Aaliyah Ortiz scored Poullard from third to give McNeese the 2-1 lead. Haylee Brinlee singled sending Ortiz to third base before scoring on a UIW error for a 3-1 lead.
In the nightcap, McNeese scored one run on four straight hits in the first inning to take the early lead for the second straight game. The Cowgirls missed a chance to add to its lead by leaving the bases loaded with one out.
UIW tied the game at one-all with an RBI single to right field by Kendall McGary in the fifth but the Cowgirls answered with a run in the sixth to retake the lead, 2-1.
Poullard drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and scored on an RBI single to center field by Kaylee Lopez.
UIW tied the game once again in the bottom of the sixth inning when Jasmine Torres reached on a fielder’s choice, went to second on a sac bunt, and advanced to third on a passed ball. A single to second base allowed Torres to score for the 2-2 tie.
Cowgirl reliever Ashley Vallejo got herself out of a jam in the seventh when UIW had the game-winning run on second base with one out. Vallejo got a line drive back to her and she threw to second base to complete the double play for the third out that sent the game into extra innings.
The first two Cowgirl batters reached base in the eighth inning but McNeese couldn’t pick up a timely hit to score the go-ahead run.
Vallejo got out of another jam in the bottom of the inning. UIW had the bases loaded with one out and Vallejo got the next two batters to pop out to end the threat.
For the third straight inning, UIW had an opportunity to win the game, and this time they made it happen. Abby Frank’s one-out walk-off double to left-center field scored McGary to end the game.
For the second straight game, McNeese picked up seven hits and was led by Kaylee Lopez and Haylee Brinlee, who both had two apiece. Brinlee picked up the only Cowgirl extra-base hit with a double.