SOFTBALL: Big comeback caps doubleheader sweep for Lamar

Published 11:49 pm Saturday, February 24, 2018

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT — The Lamar Cardinals staged one of their most improbable wins since bringing softball back to LU in 2013 as they rallied from a 9-2 sixth-inning deficit for a 10-9 win in eight innings over Alabama A&M on Saturday at the Cardinal Classic.

The Cardinals (7-6) are 4-0 this weekend after winning two games on Saturday. Earlier in the day, LU posted a 2-0 win over Binghamton, as LU starter Taylor Gruell picked up her first career win.

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In the opener against Binghamton, Gruell (1-0) allowed just one hit over 4 1/3 innings. The freshman right-hander walked four and struck out three. Julia Voluntad pitched one inning of shutout relief before Laura Napoli came one to throw 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief for her second save in as many days.

Shelby Henderson gave LU a 1-0 lead in the third when her RBI double scored Savana Guidry, who went 3-for-4. Guidry drove in an insurance run in the sixth inning with an RBI single that scored Kendall Talley.

In the nightcap, the Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first without the benefit of a hit, taking advantage of four walks and an error.

Alabama A&M replied with three runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings to build what seemed to be an insurmountable lead. The Cardinals, however, had different plans, pounding out five hits to score five runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it 9-7. Kendall Talley had a two-run triple and Paige Holmes added a one-run three-bagger to give the Cardinals hope.

The Cardinals cut the lead to 9-8 with one out in the seventh on a Taylor Davis ground out. LU was down to its final out when the Cardinals caught a break. Holmes popped up for what seemed to be the final out of the game, but the ball somehow eluded the glove of the Alabama A&M shortstop allowing Talley to come across with the tying run.

With the international tie-breaker rule in effect in extra innings, the Cardinals started the bottom of the eighth with Shelby Hughston on second base. She didn’t stay there long, as the Lady Bulldogs mishandled Kelly Meeuwsen’s bunt, throwing it into right field, easily allowing Hughston to score.