Coogs split series against Cardinals before conference gauntlet
After going toe-to-toe with the Texas Longhorns, the Cougar softball team returned to Houston Tuesday to host the Lamar Cardinals.
The Cougars came out on top in the first game, scoring 11 runs and ending the game in five innings. However, the Cougars lost a lot of the momentum they had earned against Texas and in that first game— they were shut out in Game 2, giving up six runs in seven innings.
Coming into the doubleheader, the Cougars had a record of 16-16 and the Cardinals were a game below .500. For the Cougars, this was a chance to get some momentum before going into the thickest part of the conference schedule.
Senior Shelby Miller led the scoring in the first game. After Lamar took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Miller tied the game with an RBI fielder’s choice. Miller came around to put the Cougars up 2-1 on an RBI single by sophomore outfielder Elise LeBeouf.
The Cougars proceeded to score in every inning from that point on, totaling 11 runs on nine hits. Miller ended the game with a three-run home run in the bottom of the 5th, putting the Cougars up eight and ending the game after five. Freshman starting pitcher Trystan Melancon earned her eighth win of the season, as she gave up only five hits and struck out two.
In just her sixth start of the season, sophomore pitcher Presley Bell was put in a tough situation early. After striking out her second batter, Lamar scored two runs off her to take an early lead. She recovered well, striking out six batters over her five innings pitched.
The Cougars never managed to develop a rhythm. Pitcher Clara Luna of Lamar held them to only three hits against the Cardinal’s eight. Without any run support, Bell’s night ended in the fifth inning when Lamar scored three more to take a 5-0 lead.
Sophomore pitcher Savannah Heebner came in relief of Bell, giving up two hits and one run in her two innings pitched as Lamar won the game 6-0.
This was arguably the Cougars’ last easy series of the season. Sans a lone game against Stephen F. Austin, the Cougars have consecutive series against UConn, Tulsa and Baylor.