May 10, 2013
NATCHITOCHES, La. - The Lamar Lady Cardinals saw their bats come alive a little too late, rallying for three runs in the seventh inning in an 8-4 loss to Sam Houston State at the Southland Conference Softball Tournament.
The loss eliminated fifth-seeded Lamar (24-35) from the tournament.
"We're disappointed right now, but we'll come back stronger next season," Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. "Nobody expected us to be here in our first season. We were picked to finish last, and we were one of the top five teams in the conference."
For the second time in as many games at the tournament, the Lady Cardinals found themselves in a first-inning hole. Third-seeded Sam Houston State took a 2-9 lead in the first as Hillary Adams homered off Lamar starter Shannon Millman (17-16).
Lamar got a run back in the second when Tina Schulz scored as Julianne Viator reached on an error. The Bearkats increased their lead to 4-1 in the third when Kim Damian homered just inside the right-field foul pole. That came right after Alyssa Coggins was ruled safe at first base when umpire Willie Moore ruled Ashley McDowell's foot was off the bag at first base although photos appeared to show otherwise.
The Bearkats erupted for four runs in the fifth inning taking advantage of some Lamar miscues. Lamar coach Holly Bruder was ejected from the game during the inning when pitching coach Jenna Rodriguez walked to the pitcher's circle to talk to Shannon Millman for the second time in the inning without apparently notifying the umpire that Millman would be lifted for a relief pitcher.
According to Rule 126.96.36.199 the team representative(s) or player(s) who hold another charged conference shall be immediately ejected.
"It's disappointing I wasn't around for the final game of the season," Bruder said. "But they never quit and battled back."
The Lady Cardinals made things interesting in the seventh as Ashley McDowell had a two-run double and Stephanie Meeuwsen added a run-scoring single.
"I'm already looking forward to August and the first day of practice," Bruder said. "I know these players are going to work hard this summer and come back better and hungrier next season."