Mikulin’s young talent key in Bearkats 2008 success

Staring down her opponent in the batter’s box, Morgan Mikulin shows no emotion. Standing on the mound, spectators have no idea what she is thinking or feeling. There is no smile or grin. Only a serious face topped off with squinted eyes. It’s as if “Dirty” Harry Callahan himself is standing on the pitcher’s mound, exchanging the .44 Magnum for a softball.

It is this same intensity that has brought Mikulin so far. A native of Huntsville, Mikulin is only a sophomore, yet she plays as someone well beyond her years. As of April 8, Mikulin had a .319 batting average, seven homeruns, 32 RBI and a slugging percentage of .555. Yet despite her high numbers, Mikulin remains very poised.

“My personal goal is to play hard and to help my team in any way I can,” Mikulin said.

And helping the Sam Houston State softball team is exactly what she has done this season, especially in game one against Southeastern Louisiana when she hit a solo homerun in the sixth inning to tie the game, and drove in three runs in the tenth inning to give the Bearkats the victory 8-5.

“I like to have a good attitude and never give up,” Mikulin said.

Even her pitching is astonishing with a 13-8 record with a 1.87 ERA. So far, Mikulin has had 74 strikeouts while walking 30 batters and giving up ten homeruns and holding opponents to a .255 batting average.

Because of her strength both at the plate and in pitching performances, Mikulin is what most people consider a “double threat.”

“She’s awesome, both as a student and all of her qualities put together,” SHSU head coach Bob Brock said.

With about a month left to go in her sophomore season and another two years ahead of her, there is great promise for Mikulin.

“She is a great asset,” Brock said. “She is an intense, strong player and a good athlete.”

Mikulin continued to contribute her talent on Wednesday as the Sam Houston State softball team defeated Houston Baptist in a double header 2-1 and 8-0.

After two scoreless innings for both teams in game one, Houston Baptist was the first to jump out on top in the third inning when Jaymie Heibel was able to advance to second after a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Anna Barren was able to drive in Heibel after an error on Bearkat third baseman Sarah Parich allowed Heibel to score and give Houston Baptist a 1-0 lead.

Sam Houston would come back in the bottom of the fourth however when Mikulin hit a single down the left field line with one out to put a runner on base. Amy Brown would then single to center field to put Bearkats on first and second. After a fielder’s choice at third base gave the Bearkats two outs, Tanya Hooser then stepped up and hit a single to score Brown and tie the game 1-1. Two innings later, the Bearkats stepped up once again when Brown hit a solo home run over the left field fence to give Sam Houston both the lead and the win.

Pitcher Brandi Crnkovic pitched her second consecutive no-hitter in two days in the victory over Houston Baptist.

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