Northwestern Nips Ladyjacks
March 14, 2010
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Samantha Roberts hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth to lead Northwestern State to a 3-2 win over Stephen F. Austin Sunday in the last of a three-game series at SFA Field.
The Ladyjacks swept the series-opening doubleheader from the Demons on Saturday to guarantee their third straight league series win, but Sunday's loss is only their second in the last 12 contests. SFA moves to 13-8 overall with a 7-2 mark against Southland competition, while the Lady Demons even their season record at 11-11 and picked up their first Southland win to go to 1-5 in conference.
Roberts' homer followed a leadoff walk by Kayla Cole to start the inning. Northwestern had drawn first blood in the third, when it took advantage of a Ladyjack error to push a run across with a fielder's choice.
SFA starter Monika Covington held the Lady Demons to just one hit in the final three innings and didn't allow a runner past second following the bomb, but the Ladyjacks were unable to match Northwestern State's offense.
SFA managed just four hits against three different Lady Demon pitchers and left eight runners stranded on the afternoon.
The Ladyjacks came within a run of tying the score in the bottom of the fifth, when they put up a two spot. Karissa Jones led off with a walk, then was replaced by pinch-runner Michele Huffman. Huffman took second on a wild pitch, then moved to third when ball four to Amber Price sailed wide of the target, leaving runners at first and third with no outs.
SFA then worked the double steal to perfection, with Price diving in safely at second and Huffman coming home ahead of the throw to get the Ladyjacks on the board. Price moved to third on a ground-out by Bethany Brown, then made it a 3-2 game when she scored on a base knock up the middle by Kendal Harper.
Jessica Arana drew a walk before Harper was forced at third for the second out on a fielder's choice off the bat of Kayla Gutowski. Briana Bishop reached on an infield single to load the bases, but Ashley Struchtemeyer grounded sharply to third base to end the inning.
After going quietly in the sixth, the Ladyjacks got the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh, when Harper got a one-out infield single and stole second. Arana drew a walk behind her, but the Lady Demons got a fly ball and a strikeout to end the game.
Kelee Grimes picked up the win despite giving up both runs in four innings of work. She was touched for one hit and issued four walks with one strikeout. Kylie Roos came on for reliever Brooke Boening to pitch the final two outs in the seventh and earn the save.
Covington (5-5) suffered her first defeat in six starts, allowing two earned runs on three hits and two walks. She recorded six strikeouts in seven innings pitched.
The Ladyjacks will wrap up their longest home stand of the season Saturday, March 20, when they host Louisiana-Monroe in a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. from SFA Field.
-- SFA --