Sour surprise as Sugar Bears down Kats

Despite coming into Saturday’s doubleheader 0-18 in Southland Conference play, Central Arkansas was able to steal away two games against the Sam Houston State softball team this past weekend.

In game one, the Bearkats jumped out offensively in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles from Hailey Wiginton and Casie Everitt. Sophomore sensation Morgan Mikulin then hit an RBI single to right field to score Wiginton and advance Everitt to third. One batter later, Amy Brown nailed a single to right field to score Everitt and give the Bearkats a 2-0 lead.

Strong pitching by Brandi Crnkovic shut down the Sugar Bears for two more innings until the Bearkats exploded offensively once again. After a lead-off single, a wild pitch and a ground-out advanced Tanya Hooser to third, Sarah Parich hit a single to centerfield to bring in Hooser. Soon after, a single and a fly-out to centerfield would score two for the Bearkats and push them to a 5-0 lead by the end of the fourth inning. The Bearkats’ sixth run came in the bottom of the sixth inning when Everitt blasted a double to left field to score Wiginton, who led-off the inning with a double of her own. Crnkovic earned the win after allowing only two hits and one walk while striking out nine.

The nightcap would prove to be a very different story for the Bearkats. A lead-off home run off of starting pitcher Mikulin in the top of the first inning by Central Arkansas’s Sarah Garcia would prove to be the early deciding factor in the win for the Sugar Bears. Central Arkansas picked up only one more hit, but the Bearkats were unable to string enough hits together to get runs across the plate. At the end of game two, the Sugar Bears walked away with a two-hit 1-0 win.

Coming back on Sunday to try and avenge the loss suffered the night before, the Bearkats fell short once again in a 5-1 loss to the Sugar Bears. Central Arkansas would jump out on top in the top of second when a single by Brittany Bearden scored Hitchcock. The Sugar Bears struck again in the top of the fourth when Janae Owen slammed a solo home run for a 2-0 Central Arkansas lead. The top of the fifth would put Sam Houston in a hole after Central Arkansas amassed three runs to then give themselves a 5-0 lead over Sam Houston State. The Bearkats would not score until the bottom of the seventh inning when pinch-hitter Alex Survant singled to centerfield and was brought in on a single by Kendra Spivey.

The Bearkats play their next game at the University of Texas in a non-conference doubleheader at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

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