SOFTBALL: Meeuwsen homers, but Cards strand 10 in loss to Lady Jacks

Published 11:18 pm Saturday, March 24, 2018

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT – Kelly Meeuwsen’s team-leading sixth home run of the season wasn’t enough for the Lamar Cardinals in a 4-1 loss to the visiting Stephen F. Austin Lady Jacks in a Southland Conference softball game Saturday afternoon.

The Cardinals (18-14 overall, 4-5 Southland) had their chances, but stranded 10 runners on the day, six of them in scoring position. The Cardinals loaded the bases in two innings, but failed to score either time as SFA took two of three games in the series.

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“We had too many unproductive outs,” LU coach Holly Bruder said. “We struck out seven times, with the bottom third of our order accounting for seven of them. They have to find a way to put the ball in play and make something happen.”

SFA (17-13, 5-4) struck for two runs in the second inning. Autumn Holloway got the inning started with a one-out single before scoring on a Katherine Thompson triple down the right-field line that just eluded a diving Maddy Myers. Thompson came into score on an RBI grounder.

SFA made it 3-0 in the fifth on an unearned run before increasing its lead to 4-0 in the top of the seventh on Margarita Corona’s home run just inside the right-field foul pole.

Meeuwsen hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to spoil SFA’s shutout bid. Taylor Davis followed with a single, but the Cardinals could inflict no more damage.

LU starter Taylor Gruell (7-4) took the loss, allowing three hits and two runs, both earned, over four innings. She walked one and struck out two. Laura Napoli pitched three innings of relief, allowing two hits and two runs, one earned. Shannon Klaus had two of LU’s six hits.

“Our pitching wasn’t the problem today, it was our hitting,” Bruder said. “We saw the same pitchers we saw yesterday, but we didn’t make adjustments.”

Makayla Sikes (10-5) started and got the win for SFA, scattering four hits over five innings. She walked three and struck out six. Callee Guffey earned her second save, allowing two hits and one run in two innings. Guffey struck out five, including the side in the sixth inning, when she entered the game with two runners on base with no outs.

“We have to put all aspects of our game together,” Bruder said. “One day it��s our hitting [that struggles]. Another day, it’s our defense. Another day it’s our pitching. That’s the sign of a team that is struggling. We need to have all three parts producing.”


The Cardinals are at eighth-ranked Texas A&M for a non-conference game at 5 p.m. Wednesday before hosting Southeastern Louisiana in a three-game conference series next weekend. The Cardinals and Lady Lions play a doubleheader at 4 p.m. Friday and a single game at 3 p.m. Saturday.


Davis has reached base safely in 21 straight games, tied for the sixth-longest streak in program history. Brittany Rodriguez set the LU record with a 26-game streak in 2016 … Meeuwsen’s HR was just the second hit by a Cardinal at the LU Softball Complex this season; Paige Holmes has the other HR … The series marked the first time in the six seasons since LU revived the softball program that the Cardinals hosted SFA.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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