Softball drops 2 to Islanders

GO CARDINALS Candyce Carter collected her 100th career hit.
GO CARDINALS
Candyce Carter collected her 100th career hit.
GO CARDINALS

April 18, 2014

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BEAUMONT, Texas - Candyce Carter achieved a milestone on Friday, but nobody on the Lamar Lady Cardinals felt like celebrating.

Carter became just the second Lamar softball player to collect 100 career hits, but the Lady Cardinals dropped a Southland Conference doubleheader to visiting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi by scores of 3-0 and 8-4 at Ford Park.

"Very disappointing," was how Lamar coach Holly Bruder tersely summed up losing two games to the last-place team in the conference. "Some of our players admitted they took this team for granted, and it came back to hurt us."

The Lady Cardinals (19-20 overall, 12-7 Southland) dropped into a second-place tie with Sam Houston State, falling 2 ½ games behind front-running McNeese State.

The Lady Cardinals were held to just one hit in the opener, a one-out double by Casey Cromwell in the first inning. The Lady Cardinals loaded the bases in the opening frame against Liz Carter (9-16), but failed to score. After that, Carter did not allow a base runner to reach second base until the sixth inning.

The Islanders (12-30, 7-12) gave Carter all the support she would need with two runs in the top of the first off of Lamar starter Tina Schulz (8-10). Schulz settled down after that, holding the Islanders to two hits and one unearned run over the final six innings.

Lamar held leads of 3-1 and 4-2 in the nightcap only to see the Islanders tie it with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings before breaking it open with a four-run seventh. Valerie Perez snapped the 4-4 tie with a mammoth home run to center field off of Lamar reliever Lauren Dannelley.

Perez went 3-for-3 with five RBIs in the second game for the Islanders. Candyce Carter and Julianne Viator each had two hits for Lamar. Katie Blanar (2-3) pitched one inning of scoreless relief for the win. Lamar starter Shannon Millman did not factor in the decision, allowing nine hits and four runs, all earned, over six innings.

The Lady Cardinals made three errors in each game, running their total to 11 errors in the last three games.

"We worked on our defense all day Thursday," Bruder said. "You'd never know it."

The Lady Cardinals attempt to salvage the series when they host the Islanders at 2 p.m. Saturday on Senior Day as the Lamar honors Carter, Millman, Schulz and Viator.

"We want it to be special for these four seniors," Bruder said. "The best way to do that is to get a win."

Tickets are available online at www.LamarCardinals.com. Tickets are available at Ford Park one hour prior to first pitch on a cash-only basis.

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