Napoli, Luna keep Cards in win column

Published 11:59 pm Friday, February 19, 2016

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT – Strong starting pitching performances from Laura Napoli and Ciara Luna lifted the Lamar Cardinals to wins over Incarnate Word and Northern Colorado on the first day of the inaugural Cardinal Classic on Friday.

Napoli allowed one hit over four scoreless innings in LU’s 8-3 win over Incarnate Word. Napoli scattered five hits over six innings in LU’s 6-0 win over Northern Colorado in the Cardinals’ second game of the day.

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Napoli (2-2) walked two and struck out two as she recorded her 21st career victory. Luna (3-0) struck out a career-high eight while walking two as LU (5-2) ran its winning streak to four games. Julia Voluntad pitched three innings in her first collegiate appearance to get the save in the win over Incarnate Word, while Lauren Dannelley set the side down in order in the seventh inning in the win over Northern Colorado.

“I was really pleased with our starting pitching today,” LU coach Holly Bruder said. “I’m also looking to see how our bullpen will do. We’re looking for a closer and Lauren did what she did by pitching a perfect inning. I’m also looking for a mid-week starter, and I did see some good things from Julia.”

Bruder also some good things from the LU offense, as the Cardinals totaled 18 hits on the day. Sarah Ragsdale had three hits and three RBIs in the victory over Incarnate Word, while Kelly Meeuwsen had two hits and a career-high four RBIs in the win over Northern Colorado.

“When you get 14 runs and 18 hits in two games, you can’t complain about the offense too much,” Bruder said. “We got some big hits at crucial times.”

Bruder was also happy with the Cardinals’ defense, as LU made just two errors on the day.

“We made some big plays defensively,” Bruder said. “I thought our infield defense was tremendous.”

The Cardinals play two games on Sunday, facing Alcorn State at 12:15 p.m. today and Texas Southern at 4:45 p.m. There is a total of five games on the day, with Texas Southern and Northern Colorado getting things under way at 10 a.m. The weekend wraps up with two games on Sunday, with LU facing Northern Colorado in the first game at 10 a.m.

“We’re glad to be playing at home,” Bruder said. “We got the weekend off to a good start. Now we have to keep that up.”

Tickets are on sale at the LU Softball Complex starting at 9 a.m. today and Sunday.