April 27, 2013
CONWAY, Ark. – The Lamar Lady Cardinals saw their losing streak reach six games as they dropped both ends of a Southland Conference doubleheader at Central Arkansas on Saturday.
Central Arkansas posted a 2-0 win in the opener before holding on for a 7-5 victory in the nightcap after Lamar rallied from a 5-0 deficit.
With the losses, Lamar dropped to 21-32 overall and 11-12 in the Southland Conference, putting the Lady Cardinals in seventh place in the Southland Conference with four games remaining. The top six teams qualify for the Southland Conference Tournament.
“We have to win the next four,” Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. “Even then, that may not be enough.”
The first game was a pitchers’ duel between Lamar’s Shannon Millman and Central Arkansas’ Kelsie Armstrong as both hurlers put up goose eggs through the first four innings. Central Arkansas (34-16, 13-8) finally broke through in the fifth inning on RBI singles by Melissa Bryant and Lissa Avitia.
That was more than enough for Armstrong, who allowed four hits while striking out 13. Armstrong wiggled out of a fourth-inning jam when Lamar had two runners on with one out.
Millman (14-14) scattered 10 hits over six innings, walking three and striking out eight as she took the loss.
In the nightcap, Central Arkansas roared out to a 5-0 lead through four innings off Lamar starter Tina Schulz (5-12) before the Lady Cardinals roared back with five in the top of the fifth inning off Armstrong (26-11), taking advantage of two Central Arkansas errors.
Ashley McDowell’s RBI double put Lamar on the board. Beverly Corry drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 5-2 before the Lady Cardinals tied it when Jenna Holland’s two-out fly ball was dropped by center fielder Amy Gunnells allowing three runs to score.
Central Arkansas responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth as Melissa Bryant singled to open the inning, chasing Schulz, who was relieved by Millman. Melanie Bryant rudely greeted Millman with a two-run homer to give the Bears a 7-5 lead.
Armstrong set the side down in order over the final two innings to get the win. It was also a milestone game for the Central Arkansas right-hander, who registered her 1,000th career strikeout in the win.
Lamar and Central Arkansas close out the series with a single game at 1 p.m. Sunday. The game will be aired on www.LamarCardinals.com. Lamar closes out the season by hosting Houston Baptist in a three-game series at Ford Park next weekend.
“We have to bounce back,” Bruder said. “We need to win Sunday.”