May 9, 2013
NATCHITOCHES, La. – The Lamar Lady Cardinals outhit Central Arkansas but couldn’t come up with the timely hit as they dropped a 3-0 decision to the Bears in the opening game of the Southland Conference Tournament on Thursday.
The fifth-seeded Lady Cardinals (24-34) collected seven hits against conference Pitcher of the Year Kelsie Armstrong, but stranded nine runners on the day.
Lamar’s Shannon Millman (17-15) took the loss, allowing just four hits. One of those hits, however, was a three-run first-inning home run by Jessie Taylor. Millman settled down after that, but the Lady Cardinals couldn’t take advantage of their chances.
“I just have to shake it off,” Millman said. “You’re going to give up home runs at times. You can’t let that bother you.”
Lamar had a golden opportunity to do damage in the first inning, loading the bases with one out, but Armstrong struck out Jenna Holland and Casey Cromwell to end the threat.
The Lady Cardinals left two runners on base in both the third and fourth innings and stranded one runner in each of the last two innings.
“We just couldn’t come up with the big hits,” Lamar coach Holly Bruder lamented. “You need to capitalize on your opportunities in tournament play. We just didn’t do that.”
Stephanie Meeuwsen had three of Lamar’s hits. Candyce Carter, Tina Schulz, Julianne Viator and Holland added one hit apiece for the Lady Cardinals.
Lamar returns to action at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination event. Lamar’s opponent will be determined later Thursday.
“We’re going to bounce back,” Millman said. “I have confidence in my teammates. I know our offense will come through.”