Bearkats Look to Carry Momentum Into Series Against Ladyjacks

The Sam Houston State University softball program hopes to capture another series victory this weekend as they take on the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks at the Bearkat Softball Complex on Friday and Saturday.

Assistant coach Garrett Valis believes if the team can carry its current momentum into this weekend’s series, he is confident the Bearkats can come out victorious against SFA.

“It’s a team [SFA] that we have had some success with over the last couple years,” Valis said. “I feel confident and positive about this series and being at home will add more positivity to it.”

Last weekend, the SHSU rolled past UCA, going 2-1 for the weekend at the Bearkat Softball Complex.

During Friday’s double-header, the Bearkat swept the Bears in both games.

In game one, SHSU defeated the Bears 13-0 in five innings. Senior pitcher Tayler Atkinson allowed only two base runners and struck out four Bears, moving her record in the circle to 6-9 for the year. The senior was only one out away from closing the 24 no- hitter in program history.

The Bearkats carried their momentum into the nightcap as they defeated UCA 4-0. Sophomore pitcher Lindsey McLeod sent four of the first six Bears back to the bench with strikeouts and tied with her career best of 11 strikeouts for the game.

While the Bearkats out-hit UCA, the Bears managed to capture the series finally from SHSU 5-3. Senior third baseman Tori Koerselman gave the Bearkats an early lead in the first inning with her first homerun of the season. The senior also went 3-4 at bat.

“That was a very good series for us,” Valis said. “We played well in all phases of the game and had a few mistakes in the last game, but over all it was a very positive series and anytime you can win a series in the conference it is a positive thing. “

The Bearkats will enter the three-game series against SFA with a season record of 14-16 and a Southland Conference record of 5-4; while the Ladyjacks are 10-20 overall and 2-5 in conference play.

Regardless of their season record, Valis feels SFA is still a team to look out for.

“They [SFA] have a new coaching staff and a lot of new players,” Valis said. “They are very determined, play a lot of tight games, they pitch well and keep themselves in the game so our main thing is to keep from having and lapses.”

The first two games are set to take place on Friday at the Bearkat Softball Complex with game one staring at 3 p.m. and the nightcap at 5 p.m. The series finally will start at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Spectators can view a live stream of Friday’s doubleheader on ESPN3.

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