LAKE CHARLES– McNeese State’s softball team completed a Southland Conference series sweep over Sam Houston State University Sunday.
McNeese State (20-27, SLC 12-12) moved ahead of Sam Houston State (17-28, SLC 10-14) in the Southland Conference standings with the sweep, jumping from fifth place to fourth. McNeese defeated the Bearkats 2-1 and 3-2 on Saturday.
The only run of the game came in the first inning when the Cowgirls’ lead-off hitter Christina Allen singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Sam Houston State pitcher Shalayne Blythe. After a strikeout by Jana Jones, Brooke Brodhead’s sacrifice fly to right moved Allen to third. Catcher Jenny Clay doubled to score Allen for the 1-0 lead.
Both pitchers went the distance with Denham picking up her second victory over the Bearkats in the series and improved to 12-15 overall. Denham struck out 10, gave up three hits and walk one in the contest. Denham struck out six of the first 11 batters she faced.
Blythe was equally impressive in the circle, also giving up three hits, two walks and struck out eight. Sam Houston State left five base runners stranded while the Cowgirls left four on bases.
In the final two innings of the game, Denham held the tying runs stranded at second. With two outs in the sixth, Stephanie Mosley advanced to first on a Cowgirl error then advanced to second on a Tanya Hooser single. Denham got out of the jam by striking out Elizabeth Gibson to end the inning.
In the seventh, Amanda Collier led the inning off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Casey Everitt. Denham struck out Sarah Parich for the second out and Danyell Hines hit a grounder to Denham who made the throw to first baseman Jana Jones to end the game.
SHSU will next host Northwestern State Apr. 29.