Softball Cardinals settle for split

Published 11:42 pm Saturday, March 12, 2016

Lamar sports information
HOUSTON – Brittany Rodriguez extended her school-record hitting streak to 16 games, while Ciara Luna tossed her second career shutout as the Lamar Cardinals earned a split with Houston Baptist in a Southland Conference doubleheader on Saturday.
The Cardinals (11-9, 1-1 Southland) dropped a 3-0 decision in the opener before bouncing back for a 4-0 win in the nightcap to snap a seven-game losing streak.
In Game 1, Rodriguez and Sable Hankins had two apiece for LU, but the Cardinals stranded nine runners in the contest.
HBU scored once in the first inning before adding two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Shay Orsak had two hits and an RBI for the Huskies.
LU starter Laura Napoli (3-4) took the loss in a complete-game effort. The sophomore right-hander allowed seven hits while walking three and striking out three.
“For our conference opener, I expected more offensively from us in the first game,” LU coach Holly Bruder said. “Having single digits in hits for us is not good.”
Laci Belovsky (6-4) picked up the shutout for HBU, which claimed its first-ever win over LU after dropping the first nine games of the all-time series. Belovsky walked four and struck out two.
The Cardinals came out swinging in the second game, collecting nine hits and getting the leadoff hitter on in each of the first five innings.
Sarah Ragsdale had a two-run single in the second inning to give LU a 2-0 lead. Kelly Meeuwsen added a two-run double in the fourth inning, one of two doubles in the game for the freshman. Center fielder Jenna Holland, who had two assists in the first game, went 3-for-3 in the second game.
That was more than enough support for Luna (6-2), who scattered seven hits. She walked one and struck out three.
“Ciara pitched the first of what I hope is many shutouts in the conference,” Bruder said. “I was very happy with her control and leadership in the circle.”
Libby Brown and Nicole Shedd had two hits apiece for HBU (9-9, 1-1). Starter Shannon O’Connor (1-4) took the loss for HBU, allowing seven hits and four earned runs in three-plus innings. She walked two and did not strike out a batter.
The Cardinals and Huskies wrap up the three-game series with a single game at 2 p.m. today.
“We want to win every series in conference,” Bruder said. “We have a chance to do that, but we need our offense to be more productive.”

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