SOFTBALL: Northwestern State sweeps Lamar in Southland opener

Published 12:01 am Saturday, March 10, 2018

Lamar sports information

NATCHITOCHES, La. — The Lamar University Cardinals fell victim to late-inning heroics in both games of a Southland Conference doubleheader, dropping a pair of games to the Northwestern State Lady Demons by scores of 4-2 and 7-2 on Friday.

“We’ve had trouble losing out games in the past, and it happened again tonight,” LU coach Holly Bruder said. “It’s disappointing.” In the opener, the Cardinals (11-11 overall, 0-2 Southland) took a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth on a Savana Guidry single only to see Northwestern State responded with three runs in the bottom of the sixth for the win. In the nightcap, the Cardinals surrendered five runs in the bottom of the sixth after tying the game in the fifth. The Cardinals had their chances in both games, stranding 14 runners on the night, including 10 in the opener.

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“We’re getting people on base, but we’re not capitalizing on them,” Bruder said. “It was something I had hoped we would have cleared up by the time conference play started, but obviously that hasn’t happened.”

The Cardinals outhit Northwestern state 8-6 in the opener, but went down on strikes eight times. The Cardinals struck out 10 times in the nightcap, a fact that didn’t sit well with Bruder.

“We’re familiar with their pitchers, we’ve hit them before,” Bruder said. “We had a good scouting report on them, but we failed to do the job.”

Kendall Talley had two hits for LU in the opener, while Guidry drove in both runs. LU starter Laura Napoli (4-6) took the loss, allowing six hits and four runs, all earned in 5 1/3 innings. She walked one and struck out three. Amie Cisneros pitched 2/3 of an inning of scoreless relief. Cayla Jones gave Northwestern State a 3-2 lead with a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth. Julie Rawls added a solo home run to chase Napoli.

Micaela Bouvier (6-1) pitched a complete game for the Lady Demons, allowing eight hits and two runs, both earned. She walked five and struck out eight. In the second game, Emma Hawthorne’s grand slam capped a five-run outburst in the sixth inning for the Lady Demons (14-7, 2-0).

Shannon Klaus and Kendall Talley drove in LU’s runs. LU starter Taylor Gruell (3-2) took the loss, allowing five hits and four runs, all earned, in five-plus innings. She walked one and struck out two. Napoli finished up in relief, allowing three runs, two earned, in one inning. Mikayla Brown (4-2) pitched a complete game for Northwestern State, allowing four hits and two runs, both earned. She walked two and struck out 10.

The teams wrap up the series at 4 p.m. Saturday. The game time was pushed back two hours because of rain that is supposed to fall earlier in the day.


The Cardinals return home to host Eastern Kentucky in a non-conference game at 2 p.m. Tuesday before heading to Houston Baptist for a three-game conference series next weekend.