The SHSU softball team suffered a grueling sweep by the No. 1 team in the Southland Conference, the University of Texas-Arlington, in last weekend’s series.
The Lady Mavericks shutout the Bearkats 3-0 and 5-0 on Friday and secured the series 3-2 in Saturday’s game.
Erin Lindsey was once again responsible for the only runs in the series, bringing Brooke Hale and April Bardwell home with a single to left field in Saturday’s game. Lindsey’s homerun the previous weekend clutched the Bearkats’ 1-0 victory against Northwestern State, and collected SHSU’s only run and only win of the series.
The Lady Mavericks sit in first place for a reason. Their pitching staff dealt 18 strikeouts to the Bearkats. Twelve of those belonged to junior Katy Cox, who owns 248 strikeouts this season. Cox (22-6) held SHSU to three hits in the first game of the series.
Freshman Jill Garro (11-8) threw six strikeouts this weekend totaling 89 for the season. Garro pitched seven shutout innings in Friday’s second game, holding the Bearkats to six hits.
The Bearkats opened Saturday’s game with two runs in the first inning brought in by Lindsey on a full count.
“I knew we needed to get ahead early,” Lindsey said. “It was just a blooper over the shortstop, but it was enough to do it.”
SHSU led the Lady Mavs 2-1 until the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore Crystal Krebs hit a single and advanced to second on a throwing error by the Bearkat shortstop. Jenna Fortune’s RBI double tied the game 2-2 for UTA.
Lady Maverick Melanie Williams, one of three seniors for UTA, led off the seventh with an infield single. Freshman Beverly Rowan’s sacrifice bunt advanced Williams to second.
Williams stole third with two outs and scored the winning run thanks to a bunt by Ali Lommel. The Lady Mavericks won 3-2.
“We really could have won,” Lindsey said. “We just didn’t get the hits when we needed them. We had a good defensive weekend, but we needed hits.”
Rachel Atzenhoffer got the loss in Saturday’s game, relieving Aydrien Guajardo in the seventh inning. Guajardo allowed two runs on eight hits and threw three strikeouts.
Whitney Heath (6-8) started the first game of the series, but lasted a little more than an inning, allowing three runs. Melissa Hayslip relieved Heath and held UTA to one hit in the five innings she pitched.
Atzenhoffer also got the loss in Friday’s second game, allowing five runs in the fifth inning. Guajardo finished the game.
UTA set a school record for conference wins (19) in a season in Friday’s first game. The Mavericks have only one loss at home this season to Louisiana Monroe. UTA improved to 33-14 overall and 21-3 in conference play.
The Bearkats dropped to 11-13 in the SLC and sit in the sixth and final playoff spot with just one conference series left to play. They will finish the season this weekend against McNeese State.