April 20, 2013
LAKE CHARLES, La. – It was a case of close not being good enough as the Lamar Lady Cardinals dropped a Southland Conference doubleheader to league-leading McNeese State by scores of 6-1 and 4-3 on Saturday.
“We just didn’t take advantage of our chances,” Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. “You have to do that against the good teams.”
The Lady Cardinals (21-28 overall, 11-9 Southland) stranded eight runners in the first game, leaving the bases loaded in the fourth and fifth innings. Lamar plated one run in the fifth on Candyce Carter’s RBI single to cut the McNeese State to 4-1, but that was it. McNeese State (34-11, 15-3) proceeded to put the game away with two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Ashley Modzelewski went 3-for-3 for McNeese State in the opener, needing just a double for the cycle. Carter had two hits for Lamar.
Shannon Millman (14-11) took the loss for Lamar, allowing seven hits and six runs, four earned, over five innings while striking out eight. Ashley Rey pitched a perfect inning of relief for Lamar.
Jamie Allred (16-4) pitched a complete game for McNeese State, striking out six.
In the nightcap, Lamar rallied from a 3-0 deficit with three runs in the top of the sixth, only to see McNeese State rally for a run in the bottom of the sixth for the win.
Lamar’s rally in the sixth inning started with two outs and nobody on. Stephanie Meeuwsen reached on an error and moved to second on Carter’s single before they were both doubled home by Beverly Corry. Jenna Holland followed with a single to score Corry before Millman popped up to end the rally.
McNeese responded in the bottom of the inning as Lauren Langner’s grounder scored Brittany Calbert with the go-ahead run. McNeese State’s Meagan Bond (16-4) set the side down in order to seal her complete-game win, striking out 11 and allowing just three hits.
Tina Schulz (5-11) took the loss, allowing eight hits and four runs, all earned, in 5 2/3 innings.
“I thought our pitching did well,” Bruder said. “We just didn’t make some plays in the field and didn’t get the timely hits.”
Lamar wraps up the three-game series with McNeese at 1 p.m. Sunday. The game will be aired live on www.LamarCardinals.com.
The losses dropped the Lady Cardinals into fourth place, five games behind McNeese State with seven games remaining. Lamar is one game ahead of Southeastern Louisiana and Central Arkansas, who are tied for fifth, and 1 1/2 games ahead of Nicholls, which sits in seventh place. The top six teams qualify for the Southland Conference Tournament.
“We’re still alive for a spot in the tournament,” Bruder said. “Getting a win on Sunday would make me breathe a little easier.”