SOFTBALL: Cardinals keep Big Green off scoreboard twice

Published 9:16 pm Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT – Taylor Gruell and Laura Napoli each threw complete-game three-hit shutouts as the Lamar Cardinals swept a non-conference doubleheader from the Dartmouth Big Green by scores of 8-0 and 4-0 at the LU Softball Complex on Tuesday.

With the sweep, the Cardinals (17-12) extended their winning streak to a season-best six games.

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“When you have two complete games, that’s a sign of great pitching,” LU coach Holly Bruder said of the Big Green (5-11). “Dartmouth is a good team. They beat Houston twice. Today started in the circle and ended in the circle because we were able to close games.”

Gruell (6-2) pitched the opener. She walked two and struck out six over six innings, needing just 72 pitches in a game that ended in the bottom of the sixth due to the run rule. Napoli (7-7) needed just 80 pitches in her seven-inning complete game. She did not walk a batter and struck out three.

“Both pitchers were getting ahead of hitters today,” Bruder said. “That’s the type of pitching we need.”

In the opener, the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a Kelly Meeuwsen RBI double. LU broke things open with five runs in the third, sending 10 batters to the plate. The Cards added a run in the fifth on a Savana Guidry RBI single before ending the game in the sixth when pinch runner Corina Thornton scored on a throwing error.

Guidry had three hits and two RBIs in the first game, while Meeuwsen and Taylor Davis had two hits apiece.

In the second game, the Cardinals gave Napoli all the support she needed with a pair of runs in the second inning on an RBI single by Shelby Hughston and a run-scoring grounder by Guidry. The Cards tacked on a run in the fourth when Guidry stole home as part of a double steal.  LU added an unearned run in the fifth on a Dartmouth error.

Hughston, Shannon Klaus and Kendall Talley had two hits apiece for LU. Davis had a hit to extend her streak of reaching base safely to 18 games, the longest on the team this season.

“We had a number of players come through for us on offense today,” Bruder said. “We had 10 hits in each game. We had a number of infield hits. We found ways to get on base.”


The Cardinals host Stephen F. Austin in a three-game Southland Conference series at the LU Softball Complex this weekend. The teams play a doubleheader at 4 p.m. Friday and a single game at 2 p.m. Saturday. LU and SFA are both 3-3 in conference play.

“We’re playing well and we’re playing with confidence right now,” Bruder said. “We have to carry it into this weekend.”