April 4, 2014
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BEAUMONT, Texas - Beverly Corry's three-run home run in the first inning was all the offense Tina Schulz and the Lamar Lady Cardinals needed in a 5-2 win over visiting Houston Baptist in a Southland Conference softball game at Ford Park on Friday night.
Corry's blast that curled around the left-field foul pole gave Lamar (13-15 overall, 8-4 Southland) a 3-0 lead just four batters into the bottom of the first. The Lady Cardinals loaded the bases after that in the inning, but Shannon O'Connor, who came on in relief with two out in the inning managed to keep Lamar off the board.
The Lady Cardinals got to O'Connor for two runs in the bottom of the second thanks to an RBI single by Schulz and a sacrifice fly by Lauren Gambone to boost Lamar's lead to 5-0. O'Connor shut the door after that, but Houston Baptist (11-19, 7-6) was held in check for the most part by Schulz, who improved to 6-8. Schulz threw just 78 pitches in registering her eighth complete game of the season.
The Huskies scored twice in the third for their only runs. Kristen Schwirtlich hit a two-out single to right-center to score Lauren Schwirtlich. Kristen Schwirtlich was caught in a rundown between first and second that allowed Shay Orsak to score just ahead of Schwirtlich being tagged for the third out.
Schulz settled down after that, finishing the game with a six-hitter. She struck out two and did not walk a batter.
"I thought Tina was fantastic," Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. "The 1-4 hitters in the HBU lineup are dangerous, but we really didn't let them hurt us."
The win moved Lamar into second place, a half-game behind McNeese State and a half-game ahead of Central Arkansas.
"This was a huge win for us," Bruder said. "Every win is important, especially over a team you're battling with for a playoff spot."
Emily Mueller (6-6) took the loss, allowing three hits and three runs, al earned, while retiring just two batters. O'Connor allowed four hits and two runs, both earned, over the final 5 1/3 innings, striking out six.
Lamar is scheduled to host Houston Baptist in a doubleheader at 3 p.m. Saturday at Ford Park. As of Friday night, the forecast was calling for showers on Saturday.
"Hopefully, we can get these games in," Bruder said. "We're going to do our best."
Saturday is Military Appreciation and First Responders Day, with all military, police, fire and EMT personnel receiving free admission when in uniform or with a valid ID. The Lady Cardinals will wear special camouflage uniforms.