SFA Rallies for Win
April 17, 2007
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - After scoring just three runs total in their previous four games, the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks ripped McNeese State for 13 hits and eight runs in the second game of their Southland Conference doubleheader to earn an 8-3 win and a split in their twin bill against the Cowgirls. SFA dropped the opening game of the series, 3-0. The split moves SFA's record to 18-26 overall and 11-9 in SLC action.
After going scoreless in Game 1, the Ladyjacks got on the board in the first inning of the nightcap. Benet Higgs led off with an infield single, then moved all the way to third when she caught the McNeese State defense napping on Crystal Dahlquist's sacrifice bunt. She came home a single to right-center by Briana Bishop.
The Ladyjacks padded their lead in the second when Jessica Tullos crushed a solo home run deep to left-center. It was her third homer of the season.
McNeese State answered in kind in the top of the third. Leading hitter Brooke Brodhead hit a one-run homer to right-center to make it a 2-1 game. Three batters later, the Cowgirls tied the score on an RBI single through the left side, between a diving Briana Bishop and Chelsea Carr.
The Ladyjacks quickly untied the score in their half of the third. Briana Bishop smoked a one-out single through the left side. After a wild pitch and a base knock by Magen Butler, Bishop found herself at third. That hit chased McNeese starter Cori Bram from the circle, in favor of Michelle LaVoie, but it was the Cowgirls' defense in the inning, more than their pitching, that led to an SFA rally.
Following the pitching change, Kim Daley came in to run for Butler. Bishop was tagged out at the plate on a busted squeeze play, but Daley took second. The next batter, Heather Hebert, reached base when the Cowgirl shortstop overthrew first, allowing Daley to score all the way from second. Tullos then drew a walk. Both she and Daley scored when Wilburn's single was misplayed by the McNeese left fielder and rolled nearly all the way to the wall. After the dust cleared, SFA had used four hits and a pair of errors to take a 5-2 lead.
The Ladyjacks tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning. Hebert led off with a single to center field. Tullos then singled to left. Two batters later, Chelsea Carr doubled to right-center, scoring both runners.
McNeese added a run in the sixth, but Wilburn and SFA held the Cowgirls in check, otherwise. Wilburn improved to 9-11 on the season. She scattered 14 hits over seven innings and didn't issue a walk. Wilburn recorded five strikeouts.
The Ladyjacks mustered just four hits and left three runners in scoring position in Game 1. Kari Hugie led off the third with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Carr. The next batter, Kendal Harper, singled to center, moving Hugie to third base. After a fly ball to the outfield for the second out of the inning, Harper stole second. But Dahlquist struck out to end the inning.
Dahlquist tried to spark some offense in the sixth inning when she reached base on a one-out bunt single. She stole second to get into scoring position, but the next two Ladyjacks popped out and grounded out to leave her stranded.
Hugie (8-11) took the loss for the Ladyjacks. Through three innings, she allowed one earned run on five hits and two walks with one strikeout. Debra Boles came on in relief and pitched the final four innings. She stopped the bleeding, holding the Cowgirls scoreless on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts, but the Ladyjacks couldn't find the plate.
SFA will wrap up its series against the Cowgirls Wednesday with a 2 p.m. start time.
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