March 24, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas – The Lamar Lady Cardinals waited a little too late to get their bats going Sunday, as their three-run rally in the seventh inning fell short in a 6-4 loss to visiting Sam Houston State in a Southland Conference softball game Sunday at a windswept Ford Park.
The Lady Cardinals (14-19 overall, 5-4 Southland) got four hits in the seventh inning, but couldn’t overcome a five-run deficit as Sam Houston State (16-17, 4-5) salvaged the final game of a three-game series.
“We left too many runners on base,” Lamar coach Holly Bruder said of the 10 runners the Lady Cardinals stranded. “We didn’t get the timely hits in the big situations.”
Lamar left the bases loaded in the second and sixth innings. Eight of the 10 runners left on base were in scoring position.
One day after belting six home runs in a doubleheader sweep of the Bearkats, the Lady Cardinals failed to get any homers, while Sam Houston State belted two round-trippers. Shelbi Tucker hit a solo home run in the second inning to give the Bearkats a 2-0 lead. Tiffany Castillo hit a two-out, two-run home run off reliever Ashley Rey in the seventh inning to give the Bearkats a 6-1 lead.
“Castillo’s home run was a nail in the coffin,” Bruder said. “We scored three in the bottom of the inning. If we held them scoreless in the seventh, those three runs would have tied it.”
Candyce Carter had three hits for Lamar, while Tina Schulz and Julianne Viator added two hits apiece for the Lady Cardinals.
Shannon Millman (8-8) started and took the loss for Lamar, picking up the decision in all three games over the weekend, as she was the winning pitcher in both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Millman allowed seven hits and four runs, all earned, over six innings.
“Shannon gave it everything she had,” Bruder said. “It’s awfully tough for one pitcher to get all three wins on the weekend.”
Castillo, Hillary Adams and Tucker each had two hits for Sam Houston State. Meme Quinn (4-4) started and got the win for Sam Houston State, allowing eight hits and three runs, two earned, over six innings.
“We didn’t put the ball on the floor the way we did Saturday,” Bruder said. “We hit too many pop-ups and lazy fly balls. I knew it would be tough to hit home runs today because the wind was blowing in. But give Sam Houston credit, they were able to hit two homers.”
Lamar returns to action with a three-game conference series next weekend at Northwestern State. The teams will play a doubleheader on Good Friday and a single game on Saturday.
“It’s nice not to have midweek games this week,” Bruder said. “We’ll get a much-needed rest.”
The Lady Cardinals aren’t home until April 6 when they open a three-game conference series against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.