Not in the Cards just yet: Lamar finishes with most wins in school history

Published 12:16 am Saturday, May 14, 2016

Lamar sports information

LAKE CHARLES — The Lamar softball team saw its most successful season come to an end with a 5-2 loss to McNeese State in the championship round of the Southland Conference Tournament on Friday.

The third-seeded Cardinals (35-22) set a school record for overall wins as well as for conference wins, as they ended with an 18-9 record in Southland play.

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“This was a special group of kids,” LU coach Holly Bruder said. “We’ve accomplished so much in the four years since we started this program. We have taken so many steps in the right direction. This is the first time we reached the championship round. That’s our new standard now, to reach the finals and see what happens.”

The Cardinals, who had to beat top-seeded McNeese twice to claim their first-ever title, struck first by taking advantage of two McNeese errors to take a 1-0 lead when Kelly Meeuwsen scored on an RBI grounder by Jenna Holland.

McNeese (42-12), which was designated as the visiting team, erupted for three runs in the top of the third. Erika Piancastelli’s two-run single was the big hit for the Cowgirls.

McNeese added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. LU responded with a run in the bottom of the sixth when Holland collected her second RBI of the game on a grounder to score Brynn Baca, but the Cardinals couldn’t score any more in the inning, stranding two runners.

The Cardinals went down in order in the seventh against McNeese starter Emily Vincent (16-3), who held LU to two hits.

LU starter Laura Napoli (9-8) took the loss, allowing six hits and four runs, two earned, in six innings. Lauren Dannelley allowed one unearned run in one inning of relief.

The Cardinals placed five players on the all-tournament team: Holland, Kelly Meeuwsen, Stephanie Meeuwsen, Brittany Rodriguez and Ciara Luna. Piancastelli was the tournament MVP.