Lamar Softball silences Texas Southern
BEAUMONT, Texas – Tina Schulz shut down the nation’s top hitting team to lead the Lamar Lady Cardinals to a 4-1 win over visiting Texas Southern in a non-conference softball game at Ford Park on Wednesday night.
Schulz (5-10) scattered four hits as she recorded her first win since March 5. She walked just one and struck out two in the complete-game victory, throwing 100 pitches, 59 for strikes.
“I knew I had been struggling, so I just came in with a clear mind tonight,” Schulz said. “I just threw my game.”
Texas Southern (27-13) came into the game with a .353 batting average, tops among Division I teams nationally. But Schulz was in command form the beginning, retiring the first 11 batters she faced before Thomasina Garza singled to left with two outs in the fourth.
By that time Lamar (21-26) already had a 3-0 lead thanks to two runs in the second and one in the third.
The Lady Cardinals took the lead in the second as Casey Cromwell led off with a double before scoring on a throwing error. Tina Schulz followed with a single to left to score Julianne Viator.
Lamar made it 3-0 in the third when Candyce Carter hit her ninth home run of the season, a towering blast to left-center. The Lady Cards pushed their lead to 4-0 in the fifth when Cromwell singled home Carter.
Texas Southern threatened to get back in the game in the sixth after Garza singled home Jessica Haynes. Schulz would get out of a jam by getting Briana Parker to ground into a double play that was turned nicely by Lauren Gambone at third. Haley Smith then grounded out to Gambone to end the inning.
“Lauren has stepped up and played great defense at third base,” Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. “She made that double play look easy, and trust me, it wasn’t.”
Cromwell finished 3-for-3 on the day for Lamar, while Stephanie Meeuwsen added two hits.
Jeneice Tillman (8-4), the first of three pitchers used by Texas Southern, took the loss, allowing five hits and three runs, two earned, in three innings.
Lamar returns to action this weekend with a three-game series at Southland Conference leader McNeese State. The Lady Cardinals are tied for third with Sam Houston State, three games behind McNeese State with nine games remaining in conference play.
“This is a huge weekend for us,” Bruder said. “If we want to stay in third or move up, we have to play well this weekend.”
The series starts with a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Saturday and wraps up with a single game at 1 p.m. Sunday. All three games will air live on www.LamarCardinals.com.
Wednesday, April 23 2014, 11:23 AM CDT