After two competitive one-run losses to Southland Conference rival Sam Houston State University, the Bearkats finished the series with a sweep of the Huskies in the final game with a score of 8-2 at Sam Houston State Softball Stadium.
The Huskies started off the game with one run in the first inning off sophomore pitcher Haley Baros when sophomore first baseman Melissa Herman hit an RBI single to right field, scoring junior center fielder Lauren Schwirtlich.
The Bearkats responded in the bottom of the first with a RBI sacrifice fly ball to right field by sophomore designated player Hillary Adams.
After one out, senior pitcher Lori Earl was replaced by junior pitcher Kendall Stiefel with the bases loaded. Moments later, senior third baseman Shelbi Tucker hit a grand slam home run to take the lead 5-1.
Coach Mary-Ellen Hall said that Sam Houston simply out-hit the University, but she was pleased by how the Huskies reacted.
“On Sunday the Bearkats out-hit us and made the most of their opportunities,” Hall said. “But we did a good job of settling down after the first inning, we just need to make adjustments at the plate sooner.”
After an eventful first inning, both teams settled down as no hits occurred in the second and third innings.
In the top of the fourth, sophomore second baseman Victoria Granchelli broke the cycle of outs with a bunt single with two outs, but the University was unable to capitalize.
The Bearkats answered back with three hits in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs and increasing the lead to 8-1.
Sam Houston started the inning by loading the bases with no outs. The Huskies were then able to get two quick fly ball outs. Sam Houston then rallied when freshman shortstop Tiffany Castillo was hit by a pitch followed by a wild pitch and a single by Adams.
Stiefel was replaced by senior pitcher Sarah Shotton in the bottom of the fifth inning, retiring all three batters in a row.
The Huskies responded in the top of the seventh with a solo home run by Granchelli, but were unable to score any more runs and finished the game with a score of 8-2.
Hall said that girls are working hard and looking forward to playing McNeese State Universit.y this weekend.
“This team is committed to be the best they can be and work every day to accomplish that goal,” Hall said. “We are excited to be hosting McNeese at home this weekend.”