Disappearing bats

A home run by Erin Lindsey clutched SHSU’s only run and only win in the last home series against Northwestern State this weekend. The Bearkat softball team has just six games left before the Southland Conference Tournament.

The Lady Demons took two of three from SHSU, shutting out the Bearkats 4-0 on Saturday and 3-0 in Sunday’s game.

Saturday’s first game was scoreless for the first 6 innings. Sophomore Erin Lindsey led off for SHSU in the bottom of the seventh and lined the first pitch over the centerfield fence winning the game 1-0. The home run was Lindsey’s third of the season.

Northwestern got five hits off of Rachel Atzenhoffer and left five runners in scoring position. Atzenfoffer struck out four Lady Demons.

The Bearkats put their first two batters on against Amanda Ortego with a hit-by-pitch and a single by April Bardwell, but Ortego sent 18 of the next 20 batters back to the dugout, striking out nine before Lindsey’s home run.

Northwestern salvaged a doubleheader split with a 4-0 four hit shutout pitched by Loni Rasberry. Lindsey Danzy and Sarina Noack each collected three hits for the Lady Demons.

Singles by Shea LeDoux, Noack and Danzy along with a pair of SHSU errors doubled the Demons’ lead to 4-0 in the fifth inning.

Northwestern’s first run was waved in on an illegal pitch by SHSU’s Aydrien Guajardo. Two more runners scored in the fifth when Nicole Martin’s grounder went between Bardwell’s legs at second.

Guajardo had four illegal pitches called on her in Saturday’s second game. Guajardo pitched five innings with two strikeouts and one walk.

Melissa Hayslip relieved Guajardo, allowing only one single and striking out two in the two innings she pitched.

“She really is the opposite of Aydrien in her pitches,” head softball coach Bob Brock said. “She’s got a tough rise ball.”

Lauren Boone, April Bardwell, Chrissy Dileo and Elizabeth Magee collected a hit each for the Bearkats.

SHSU just couldn’t retaliate in Sunday’s game, getting only four hits and held scoreless for the second straight game 3-0.

“We just didn’t hit the ball,” Brock said. “We weren’t taking advantage of scoring positions.”

“We didn’t look like we wanted to be there,” Rachel Atzenhoffer said.

Northwestern right-hander Crista Miller struck out six and retired the last 10 batters she faced. Miller allowed only three Bearkats into scoring position.

“We’ve faced better pitchers and we’ve hit a lot better off those pitchers,” Atzenhoffer said. “They weren’t throwing anything great, I don’t know what happened to us.”

Atzenhoffer pitched 4 1/3 strong innings for SHSU, holding the Lady Demons scoreless through the third. Singles by Danzy and Martin opened up the fourth. Ortego doubled them in and put the Lady Demons on the board.

Hayslip relieved Atzenhoffer in the fifth. A home run by Shawyetta Hunt led off the sixth and secured the lead for Northwestern.

Atzenhoffer got the loss, allowing two runs, walking two and striking out four.

“I didn’t hold them as well as on Saturday,” Atzenhoffer said.

Northwestern improved to 19-27 overall and 10-11 in conference play. SHSU dropped to 21-26 and 11-10. The Bearkats fell to fourth place in SLC standings.

SHSU came off a series loss to Baylor last Thursday 8-0 in the opener and 6-3 in the nightcap. The all-time series between Baylor and Sam Houston is now tied 28-28. Baylor has won 15 straight games against the Bearkats.

SHSU heads to Arlington Friday and Saturday to face first place Texas-Arlington.

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