March 12, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas - Ashley McDowell drove in three runs to lead the Lamar Lady Cardinals salvage a split of their non-conference softball doubleheader with visiting Bucknell with a 3-1 win in the second game.
Bucknell won the opening game 2-1.
McDowell had a two-run double in the second inning and added a run-scoring single in the fourth for Lamar (11-13) to support the pitching of left-hander Shannon Millman (6-5), who scattered five hits, while allowing just one walk and one earned run while striking out a career-high eight.
Millman worked the first five innings before giving way to Melissa Smith to start the sixth. Smith got one out before loading the bases, setting the stage for Millman to get out of the jam and then finishing off the game in the seventh.
Millman's outing was the second strong pitching performance of the day for Lamar. Tina Schulz (4-4) took the loss in the opener, despite allowing no earned runs and striking out a career-best nine.
The Lady Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth of the first game on Marissa LeJune's home run that just cleared the top of the fence in straightaway center field.
Bucknell (5-10) responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning by capitalizing on a two-out error by the Lady Cardinals.
"I thought Shannon and Tina were outstanding today," Lamar coach Holly Bruder said of Millman and Schulz. "Unfortunately, we just aren't hitting the ball. I'm disappointed with the split. We should have won both games. We need some people to step up on offense."
Lamar had 10 hits on the day and stranded 14.
The Lady Cardinals have a non-conference doubleheader at Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday before opening a three-game Southland Conference series at Stephen F. Austin with a Saturday doubleheader.
"We are going to have to hit better and we need to show we have depth at pitching," Bruder said. "We need every one to pick up their games."