March 5, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas - It's not often a one-hitter and a two-hitter get overlooked, but such was the case Tuesday night as the Lamar Lady Cardinals swept a doubleheader from visiting Prairie View A&M in a non-conference doubleheader at Ford Park.
Tina Schulz threw a one-hitter in Lamar's 2-0 win in the opener, while Shannon Millman and Melissa Smith combined on a two-hitter in the nightcap, a contest that saw the Lady Cardinals (8-11) roll to a 24-1 win in a game that was halted after 4 ½ innings because of the mercy rule.
"To be honest with you, we didn't hit the ball that well in the first game," Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. "I know my assistant coaches (Allison Honkofsky and Jenna Rodriguez) talked to them between games and lit a fire under them."
It was a fire that raged out of control in the nightcap, as the Lady Cardinals posted the most runs in a game in school history, dating back to the five years Lamar had a program in the 1980s.
"I wanted the fans to see what we've been working on the past few weeks," Bruder said. "In the second game, we came out and took good swings, and the results showed that."
Schulz (4-2) walked two and struck out eight in the opener, losing her no-hit bid with two outs in the sixth when Kelly Scruggs hit a wicked smash past Lauren Gambone at third base.
"I knew I had a no-hitter early, but I really didn't think about it," Schulz said. "My team was making plays behind me, I was concentrating on getting the win."
The Lady Cardinals scored both of their runs in the first inning, collecting four hits in the frame as Ashley McDowell and Casey Cromwell came across the plate.
Lamar would get just one hit the rest of the way off of Prairie View A&M starter Cally Falls (2-2), who finished with a five hitter and five strikeouts.
Lamar wasted little time in the second game, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning, adding seven more in the second, three in the third and nine in the fourth.
Jenna Holland went 3-for-5 with a triple, three runs scored and seven RBIs. Julianne Viator went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and Schulz went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and four RBIs.
Millman went the first two innings, allowing one unearned run on one hit before giving way to Smith (1-4), who allowed one hit over three scoreless innings,. Each Lamar pitcher struck out four.
"I think this game gives Melissa Smith some confidence," Bruder said. "She needed to prove to herself that she can pitch at this level."
Meah Maddox (0-1) started and took the loss for Prairie View (3-3), allowing seven hits and nine runs, all earned in 1+ innings.
Lamar opens Southland Conference play with a three-game series at Nicholls starting with a doubleheader Saturday.
"I think this give us some momentum heading into our conference games," Schulz said. We want to show we're better than 10th place, where everybody in our conference picked us. IF we play like we have in the last four games, we're going to surprise some people."