Lamar softball suffers first loss
BEAUMONT, Texas – Ashley McDowell’s second home run in as many days wasn’t enough to lead the Lamar Lady Cardinals to a series sweep of UTSA, as the visiting Roadrunners salvaged the third game of the set with a 7-3 win over Lamar at Ford Park on Sunday.
McDowell, who hit a walk-off home run in Saturday’s opener, belted a two-run homer in the first inning Sunday. McDowell also drew two walks, scored two runs and stole her team-leading third base of the season for Lamar (2-1).
UTSA (1-2) was led by Vivian Tijerna, who hit two home runs on the day, a two-run shot in the second inning and a solo homer in the fifth.
“I’m always disappointed when we lose. It would have been nice to get a sweep,” Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. “But we took two out of three, and I’m happy with that. For our first weekend, it was a tremendous success.”
The Lady Cardinals were stymied by UTSA’s Jolene Graham (1-0), who pitched five innings of hitless, scoreless relief after starter Haylee Staton, was touched for four hits and three runs over two innings. Graham pitched three innings of hitless relief in Saturday’s second game. She allowed six walks on Saturday and four more on Sunday.
“We have to do a better job in getting hits off a pitcher we saw the day before,” Bruder said. “We were outhit 12-4 today, and when that happens, you’re not going to win too often.”
Beverly Corry drove in Lamar’s other run, plating McDowell with a sacrifice fly in the third inning that tied the game at 3.
Melissa Smith (0-1) took the loss in relief for Lamar, allowing four hits and three runs, none earned, in two innings for Lamar. Starter Ashley Rey picked up a no-decision after allowing four hits and three runs, all earned in 1 2/3 innings. Shannon Millman, who pitched a complete game in Saturday’s opener allowed four hits and one run in 3 1/3 innings of relief on Sunday.
“This is a good time to see what all of our pitchers can do,” Bruder said. “Better now than in Southland Conference games in March. When conference play starts, we will likely start one of Saturday’s pitchers in the Sunday game.”
The Lady Cardinals will play in tournaments each of the next three weekends, beginning Friday at the South Alabama Tournament. The Lady Cardinals don’t return home until a March 5 doubleheader against Prairie View A&M at Ford Park.Lamar softball suffers first loss Wednesday, April 23 2014, 11:23 AM CDT