SOFTBALL: Napoli wins, saves for Cardinals in own Classic

Published 9:30 pm Friday, February 23, 2018

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT – Laura Napoli picked up a win and a save as the Lamar  Cardinals went 2-0 Friday on the first day of the Cardinal Classic at the LU Softball Complex.

Napoli started and got the win in LU’s 7-4 victory over Binghamton before earning the save with a perfect inning of relief in a 5-4 victory over Loyola Chicago in the Cardinals’ second game of the day.

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“It wasn’t my best performance, but it wasn’t my worst,” Napoli (2-3) said of her start against Binghamton after allowing 10 hits and four runs, three earned. “However, our offense came through with big hits and picked us up today.”

Savana Guidry went 5-for-6 on the day for the Cardinals (5-6).  She had two hits in the opener before going 3-for-3 against Loyola Chicago. Guidry also made a number of dazzling plays at shortstop.

“Our infield defense is the strongest we’ve had in the six years since we brought softball back,” associate coach Allison Honkofsky said. “Savana made a number of plays to prevent runs today.”

Against Binghamton (0-2), the Cardinals did all of their damage in two innings, scoring three in the second and four in the fifth. Shannon Klaus added two hits for LU against the Bearcats. Amie Cisneros came on in the seventh after the Bearcats cut the LU lead to 7-4 to pick up her first save of the season.

Guidry and Shelby Henderson each had three hits against Loyola (4-3). Henderson had the biggest hit, an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to snap a 4-4 tie. Henderson’s hit came off Loyola Chicago ace Kiley Jones, who came on in relief of Keenan Dolezal.

“I knew they had a new pitcher, and after she fell behind 3-0, I got a good look at one more pitch to get my timing down,” Henderson said. “I got a good look at the next pitch and hit it as hard as I could.”

LU freshman Taylor Gruell started for the Cardinals. She allowed nine hits and four runs over five innings. Julia Voluntad (1-0) pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the win before Napoli got the save in the seventh.

Dolezal (0-3) took the loss for the Ramblers, allowing 11 hits and five runs, four earned, in 5 1/3 innings.

The Cardinal Classic continues with four games on Saturday and two on SundaySaturday’saction gets underway at 9:30 a.m. with Loyola Chicago facing Binghamton. Loyola Chicago meets Alabama A&M at noon. LU plays Binghamton at 2:30 p.m. and Alabama A&M at 5 p.m.Sunday’s games start at 9 a.m. as Alabama A&M meets Binghamton before LU has a rematch with Loyola Chicago at 11:30 a.m.