April 6, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas – Candyce Carter and Shannon Millman put their names in the Lamar University softball record books as the Lady Cardinals swept a doubleheader from visiting Southland Conference foe Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Ford Park on Saturday.
Carter hit her school-record eighth home run of the season in the opener a 9-6 Lamar win, while Millman, who got the win in both games, tied the school record with her 11th win of the season in the nightcap, a 7-6 Lamar decision.
With the wins, Lamar (18-23 overall, 8-6 Southland), set the school record for wins in a season and tied the school mark for conference victories in a season. The doubleheader also marked a milestone for Lamar coach Holly Bruder, who coached her 500th career game in the opener.
“What’s nice is that we got the wins,” Bruder said. “That makes it much sweeter.”
The wins didn’t come easy for the Lady Cardinals against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (7-28, 2-12) as the Lady Cardinals needed late rallies in both games.
“To come from behind takes a lot of character and gumption,” Bruder said. “We had numerous people stepping up today.”
Ashley McDowell had the big hit for Lamar in the first game, a two-out, three-run double to right-center that highlighted a six-run sixth inning as the Lady Cardinals clawed back from a 6-3 deficit in the inning.
“I knew needed a hit in that situation,” McDowell said. We’re a team that never gives up. I just had to do my part.”
Carter and Beverly Corry homered in the opener to support Millman (11-10), who allowed eight hits and six runs, one earned over seven innings while walking one and striking out five.
Lindsey Lyles hit a grand slam for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to give the Islanders a 6-2 lead in the fourth inning.
McDowell played a key role in the nightcap victory as Lamar scored two in the sixth and two more in the seventh to overcome a 6-3 deficit. McDowell singled and scored in the sixth inning before scoring the winning run in the bottom of the seventh as she reached on an error before crossing the plate on Stephanie Meeuwsen’s sacrifice fly to center field.
“It’s an awesome feeling to score the winning run,” said McDowell, who hit a walk-off home run in Lamar’s first game this season. “I was running as hard as I could.”
Millman pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to get the win, tying single-season mark of 11 wins set by Laura Hall in 1985. Millman also homered for Lamar, while Jenna Holland drove in two runs.
The wins moved the Lady Cardinals into a tie for third place in the Southland Conference with Southeastern Louisiana and Sam Houston State. The Islanders remained in last place.
The series with the Islanders concludes with a single game at 2 p.m. Sunday at Ford Park.
“I think Sunday is a must win,” Bruder said. “it would really help us in the standings. We haven’t been good on Sundays this season, but we’re going to empty the tank and give it everything we have.”
Tickets for Sunday’s game are available online at www.LamarCardinals.com. Tickets will be available at Ford Park on game day on a cash-only basis.