Slumping Cards host Kats

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 7, 2017

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT – The Lamar Cardinals open a seven-game homestand when they host the Sam Houston State Bearkats in a Southland Conference doubleheader at 4 p.m. today at the LU Softball Complex. The Cardinals and Bearkats also meet at 3 p.m. Saturday.

LU (18-19 overall, 8-4 Southland) looks to snap a four-game skid in SLC play. The Cardinals, who were swept at Southeastern Louisiana last weekend, are in fourth place in the conference, three games behind co-leaders McNeese and Abilene Christian, who are 11-1 in the conference. Sam Houston State (15-18, 6-6) is tied for fifth place with Southeastern Louisiana, five games out of first place and two games behind LU.

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“We went from being in a good position for being in the conference tournament to being one of the teams that is in the hunt for one of the six spots,” LU coach Holly Bruder said. “I don’t know if our players fully understand that. Sam Houston State is right behind us. This is an important series.”

The Bearkats, who dropped two of three at home against Stephen F. Austin last weekend, are just 4-8 in away games this season, while the Cardinals are 11-3 at home this season and 39-11 all-time at the LU Softball Complex since it opened in 2015.

Sam Houston State has a .286 team batting average. Tori Koerselman leads the Bearkats with a .356 batting average. Tiffany Thompson is hitting .337 with a team-leading 17 RBIs. Kaitlynn Dawson is hitting .324, while Megan Crosby hits .290 with a team-best five home runs.

“Sam Houston State has traditionally been a good-hitting team,” Bruder said. “Bob Brock (Sam Houston State’s head coach) has been doing this for a long time. He knows how to manipulate a game. Our pitching and hitting is going to have to be fantastic, and we’re going to have to avoid the costly errors.”

LU center fielder Brittany Rodriguez enters the weekend leading the Southland with a .426 batting average.