May 5, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas - The Cardiac Cards did it again, as Lamar another walk-off victory over Houston Baptist on Sunday for a series sweep while clinching a berth in the upcoming Southland Conference Softball Tournament.
Candyce Carter scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Lamar a 3-2 win over Houston Baptist at Ford Park one day after the Lady Cardinals used walk-off homers in both games of a doubleheader sweep of the Huskies.
With the win, Lamar (24-33 overall, 14-13 Southland), wrapped up the No. 5 seed in the Southland Conference Tournament, which gets under way Thursday in Natchitoches, La.. It's quite an accomplishment for the first-year program which was picked to finish dead last in the conference.
"We're going to enjoy this for a little while tonight and then get right back to work," Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. "We have a short work week in front of us."
Lamar will meet Central Arkansas, the No. 4 seed, on Thursday at 11 a.m. Thursday in the double-elimination tourney. All of Lamar's games will be aired live on www.LamarCardinals.com.
"We're going in on a good note, having swept a series," Bruder said. "We had been swept two series in a row, so to come back and sweep a series, especially with so much on the line, says something about us."
Lamar got a strong effort from Shannon Millman (17-14), who was the winning pitcher in all three games of the sweep. Millman scattered six hits and allowed just one earned run on the day.
"Shannon did a tremendous job for us," Bruder said. "The other team often does better against your ace when they see her for the second time in three days, but Shannon was outstanding."
Lamar got things started quickly, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Beverly Corry doubled home Ashley McDowell. The Huskies (15-27, 6-20) tied it in the top of the sixth on an RBI double by Kate Maddock.
Lamar quickly regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Casey Cromwell
put down a beautiful bunt single to score pinch-runner Taylor Duck
Houston Baptist tiled things in the seventh as Rebecca Rademacher reached on an error before scoring on Victoria Granchelli's bloop single to right-center.
That set the stage for the bottom of the seventh as Carter hit a one-out single to start the rally. Jenna Holland drew a two-out walk before the runners moved up on a passed ball. With Tina Schulz at the plate with a 3-1 count, Houston Baptist starter Lori Earl (2-5) uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Carter to dash home with the winning run.
"Candyce told me she was go for home if the ball got past the catcher," Bruder said. "That's exactly what happened. Give her credit for hustling and being alert."
Carter did a head-first slide into home, setting off another joyous celebration by the Lady Cardinals, who made sure to douse Bruder thoroughly.
"They got me good," Bruder said. "But it's worth it."