The Sam Houston State Bearkats earned their first Southland Conference sweep of the season against Houston Baptist University Sunday at Sam Houston Softball Stadium. Senior third baseman Shelbi Tucker’s grand slam in the first inning was enough to secure an 8-2 Bearkat win.
Haley Baros threw her fifth complete game and is now 7-7 on the season. She held the Huskies to four hits and struck out four different batters.
The win was the Bearkat’s fifth in a row and they improved to 9-6 in the Southland Conference. They are 23-18 overall.
“Shelbi came through,” Kats head coach Bob Brock said. “We seem to always do well on Sundays.”
Houston Baptist scored in the top of the first inning, just as they had done in the previous two games to give them an early lead. The Bearkats responded with a five-run first inning. The first run came from sacrifice fly by designated player Hillary Adams and the rest from Tucker’s grand slam to dead center.
Lori Earl got the start for HBU but was only able to record one out before giving up four runs, none of them earned. Kendall Stiefel pitched the next three and two third innings, allowing four runs on four hits. Three of them were earned. Sarah Shotton pitched the final two innings and allowed no runs and one hit.
Short stop Tiffany Castillo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fourth inning to score one more run and a two-run single by Adams gave the Bearkats an 8-1 lead. Second baseman Alyssa Coggins, who had a walk-off single to win game one of the series, had two of the five Bearkat hits and scored a run.
“This is a team that can have quality hits,” Brock said. “I think this year we can get by with five or six hits.”
First baseman Kim Damian led the Bearkats in putouts with 14 and catcher Ashley Isbell followed with three.
HBU’s last run came off a seventh inning solo bomb from Victoria Sanchez. The Huskies fell to 6-9 in Southland Conference play.
SHSU will have a three-game series against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi on Saturday and Sunday. They return home for a series with Nicholls State starting April 20.