COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Southeastern Louisiana softball team battled to a split on the opening day of the Texas A&M Invitational Friday at the Aggie Softball Complex.
Southeastern (9-3) opened the day with a 3-1 victory over Purdue (5-6). Senior Kenna Terry (1-1) earned the victory in the circle, scattering four hits and striking out six in a complete game effort. For the third straight game, senior outfielder Kelsey Nichols drove in the game-winning runs, as she launched a three-run home run in the top of the fifth inning to send Southeastern to victory.
In the nightcap, UTSA senior pitcher Haylee Staton (4-1) held Southeastern to three hits in a 4-0 win for the Roadrunners (7-4). Freshman Taylor Bishop (2-2) was saddled with the loss for the Lady Lions, allowing two earned runs and allowing six hits in six innings of work. Senior outfielder Michelle Duhe, junior pitcher Jessie Browne and Nichols had the only hits for the Lady Lions in the loss to their former Southland Conference rival.
Overall, Southeastern head coach Pete Langlois was pleased with his team’s efforts on the tournament’s opening day.
“We are 2-1 on our first road trip and for us to be successful this season, we have to learn how to win away from home,” Langlois commented. “Playing both of these teams tomorrow gives us an early taste of what conference play will be like and I’m anxious to see how we respond.”
Langlois also singled out several of his players’ individual efforts.
“We had two good pitching performances today,” Langlois said. “Kenna was simply outstanding in the circle and battled hard against a tough Purdue team. Taylor also threw well, but we didn’t back her up defensively or at the plate. Kelsey is swinging a hot bat right now and we are pleased to see her continue to come through in clutch situations.”
On Saturday, Southeastern will face UTSA at 10 a.m. and Purdue at 12:15 p.m. Live stats for both games will be provided by Texas A&M and available at LionSports.net. Live audio for the day’s first game will also be available for free.
Game One – Southeastern Louisiana 3, Purdue 1
Southeastern mounted its first scoring threat against sophomore pitcher Lexy Moore (1-3) in the top of the third inning. Senior shortstop Kayla Elswick reached on an error, which was followed by singles by Duhe and freshman outfielder Katie Lacour to load the based with no outs. Moore then retired freshman designated player Amber Sather and forced senior catcher Katie Doyle to line into an inning-ending double play.
In the bottom of the frame, Purdue took the lead. Junior centerfielder Lindsey Rains drew a one-out walk and then scored on a double by sophomore second baseman Ashley Burkhardt to stake the Boilermakers to a 1-0 advantage.
Southeastern threatened again in the top of the fourth inning. Consecutive singles by junior second baseman Megan McCollum and sophomore third baseman Megan Moore put a pair of runners on with one out. However, Moore bounced back to retire junior first baseman Tori Sheppard and Elswick to end the frame.
The Lady Lions finally broke through in the top of the fifth inning. A single by Lacour and a Sather walk put two runners on with one out. One out later, Nichols lined her first home run of the season over the left field fence to put Southeastern up, 3-1.
Terry made the lead hold up on the way to her first victory of 2013. After sitting Purdue down in order in the sixth inning, the Baytown, Texas native allowed a one-out single to freshman third baseman CJ Parsons in the bottom of the seventh inning. Terry recovered to retire senior Erika Petruzzi and then strike out Rains to complete the win.
SLU – 000 030 0 – 3 6 1 (9-2)
PUR – 001 000 0 – 1 4 2 (5-6)
Terry and Doyle. Moore, Petruzzi (6) and Fletcher. W – Terry (1-1). L – Moore (1-3). HR – SLU: Nichols (1). 3B – Varsho (1). 2B – Burkhardt (3). T – 1:37. A – 807.
Game Two – UTSA 4, Southeastern Louisiana 0
Bishop sat the first four batters of the game down before UTSA got to her in the bottom of the second inning. An error followed two Roadrunner singles to load the bases with one out. Sophomore catcher Vivian Tijerina drew a walk to force in a run and another runner crossed the plate on a groundout by junior shortstop Paige Hamilton. An RBI single by freshman centerfielder Alexis Ramirez capped the inning’s scoring and put UTSA up, 3-0.
The Roadrunners added another run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sophomore catcher Megan Low drew a one-out walk and scored one out later on a double down the left field line by junior leftfielder Sierra Sproul to push UTSA advantage to 4-0.
Freshman outfielder Sloan Jenkins drew a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh inning. However, Staton retired Doyle, McCollum and Moore to secure the shutout triumph.
SLU – 000 000 0 – 0 3 1 (9-3)
UTSA – 030 001 x – 4 6 0 (7-4)
Bishop and Doyle. Staton and Tijerjina. W – Staton (4-1). L – Bishop (2-2). 2B – UTSA: Sproul (2). T – 1:21. A – 807.
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