March 29, 2013
NATCHITOCHES, La. - Shannon Millman struck out a Lamar-record 13 batters and hit her first career home run to highlight Lamar's split with Northwestern State in a Southland Conference softball doubleheader on Friday.
Millman (9-8) pitched a complete game in Lamar's 5-3 win in 10 innings in the opener. Lamar dropped a 9-1 decision in the nightcap.
Lamar (15-20 overall, 6-5 Southland) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the opener on an RBI double by Beverly Corry and an RBI single by Jenna Holland. the score stood that way until the top of the seventh when Millman added what proved to be a crucial run when she blasted a shot well over the field in left-center to give the Lady Cardinals a 3-0 lead.
Millman was working on a one-hit shutout over six innings until Northwestern State (24-9, 6-4) erupted for three runs with two out in the bottom of the seventh with Shanequa Abby's two-out, two-run triple putting the Lady Demons on the board. Abby scored on Tara McKenny's single to tie the game.
The Lady Cardinals scored twice in the 10th on RBI singles by Holland and Casey Cromwell. Millman wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the 10th, ending the game when right fielder Tina Schulz caught a line drive off the bat of Brianna Rodriguez and then threw to Ashley McDowell at first base to retire McKinney, who had strayed too far off the bag.
"Shannon pitched a tremendous game," Holly Bruder said. "She shut down one of the best hitting teams in the conference.
The second game wasn't as kind to the Lady Cardinals as Northwestern State broke a 1-1 tie with eight runs in the fourth inning en route to a win in a game that was halted after five innings because of the mercy rule.
"That's frustrating to beat a team in 10 innings in the first game and then get lose a mercy-rule game in the second game," Bruder said. "We have to play better than that."
Lamar had a short-lived 1-0 lead in the second when Corry scored on Cromwell's fielder's choice.
Tina Schulz (4-7) took the loss for Lamar, allowing five runs over 3 2/3 innings.
The series concludes with a single game at 3 p.m. Sunday.
"We made it harder on ourselves by losing that second game," Bruder said. "We have to bounce back and go right at them on Sunday."