Softball heads to SLC leader McNeese State

GO CARDINALS Candyce Carter leads Lamar with 25 RBIs.
GO CARDINALS
Candyce Carter leads Lamar with 25 RBIs.
GO CARDINALS

April 19, 2013

Lamar's Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

McNeese State's Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

BEAUMONT, Texas - The Lamar Lady Cardinals face their toughest Southland Conference challenge of the season this weekend when they travel to SLC leader McNeese State for a three-game conference series this weekend. The series opens with a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Saturday before the teams play a single game at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The Lady Cardinals (21-26 overall, 11-7 Southland) are tied for third place with Sam Houston State, three games behind the Cowgirls (32-11, 13-3) with nine conference games remaining. The top six teams in the 10-team league qualify for next month's conference tournament.

"This is a huge weekend for us," Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. "We're in third place and want to stay there or climb. This is a good chance for us to do that."

Bruder knows it won't be easy against a McNeese State team that leads the Southland Conference with a 1.77 ERA and a .968 fielding percentage. The Cowgirls are ninth nationally in ERA.

"They play solid defense and they have good pitching," Bruder said. "They are not going to beat themselves. You have to take advantage of your opportunities."

Lamar will have to find a way to get some runs off the Cowgirls' pitching tandem of Meagan Bond (15-4, 1.24) and Jamie Allred (15-4, 1.99). Bond is 7-2 with a 1.43 ERA in conference games, while Allred is 6-1 with a 2.12 ERA. Bond is 13th nationally in ERA, Allred is 42nd.

"We know this is a big challenge, but we're ready for it," said Lamar center fielder Candyce Carter, who leads the Lady Cardinals with a .360 batting average and 25 RBIs. "We're playing with a lot of confidence."

Lamar and McNeese State have not met since 1987, when the teams split a pair of games, Lamar winning the first meeting 9-6 with McNeese State claiming a 3-2 win in 10 innings in the second contest.

All three games this weekend will air live on www.LamarCardinals.com. Following the McNeese State series, Lamar closes out the non-conference portion of its schedule by hosting Texas State at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Ford Park. After that, the Lady Cardinals have a three-game SLC series at Central Arkansas next weekend before hosting Houston Baptist in a three-game SLC series on May 4-5 at Ford Park.

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