Softball faces tough task at tournament

GO CARDINALS Candyce Carter leads Lamar with a .400 batting average.
Candyce Carter leads Lamar with a .400 batting average.

Feb. 20, 2013

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BEAUMONT, Texas - The Lamar University softball team will face two nationally ranked teams this weekend when it travels to Austin, Texas, at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational.

The four-team field includes sixth-ranked Texas (11-0) and 24th-ranked Tulsa (7-3) along with Lamar (3-4) and Utah State (0-10).

The Lady Cardinals open tourney play when they meet Utah State at 11 a.m. Friday. Lamar meets the host Longhorns at 4:30 p.m. Friday before wrapping up pool play against Tulsa at 1 p.m. Saturday. The semifinal games are slated for 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, with the consolation and championship games at 10 a.m. and noon Sunday.

"It will definitely be a challenge for us," Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. "Not only are we playing two of the top teams in the nation, we open against a Utah State team that is just as hungry as we are. We both want to open with a win, and I think it's going to be a bloodbath."

Bruder hopes her team's bats can come alive this weekend.  The Lady Cardinals are batting just .182 on the season, and have been outhit in every game so far. Bruder also looks for her team to improve its play in the field. Lamar has committed 13 errors in seven games this spring.

"We have to improve in both of these areas," Bruder said. "Defense keeps you in games and hitting wins games for you. We need to do a better job."

Candyce Carter leads Lamar in hitting with a .400 average. She also leads the club with a .591 on-base percentage and .667 slugging percentage.  Ashley McDowell has team bests of two home runs and five runs scored.

Left-hander Shannon Millman (2-1, 4.76) leads Lamar in wins and ERA. Her 25 innings pitched is more than half of the team's total of 40 2/3 innings.

"Shannon has done a good job, but she has to get ahead of the hitters more often," Bruder said. "She's got a great drop ball, and when she is on her game, I expect to see 21 ground balls."

All of Lamar's games will be aired broadcast live on The game against Texas as well as the semifinals and the consolation and championship games will air live on the Longhorn Sports Network.




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