Ladyjacks Throttle Texas Southern
March 20, 2007
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack pitching staff turned in another gem Tuesday night as sophomore Kari Hugie and freshman Magen Butler combined to hold Texas Southern to one run in a pair of complete-game victories, sweeping the evening doubleheader against the Lady Tigers. SFA won the opener, 4-0, then broke out the bats for a 12-1 victory in the nightcap.
Hugie tossed the fourth complete-game shutout in her last five starts, as she scattered six Texas Southern hits in Game 1. She allowed one free pass and struck out four in improving her season mark to 6-7.
Hugie got some help from her defense in the sixth to preserve the shutout. Natalie Ramirez was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. After a walk and a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third with one out, Chelsea Carr fielded a ground ball at shortstop and cut Ramirez down at the plate with a strong throw. The next batter singled to right-center, but centerfielder Benet Higgs delivered a stripe to home plate to nail Adrianne Rocha and end the inning with a nice tag applied by SFA catcher Kim Daley.
Meanwhile, SFA delivered a run in the first and fourth innings and a pair of runs in the fifth to seal the win. Higgs scored the first run when she came home from third as Ashley Wilburn reached on an error.
In the fourth, Briana Bishop singled through the left side, took second on a passed ball and advanced to third when a botched pickoff throw made its way into center field. She scored when Tullos rapped a single off the outstretched glove of the Texas Southern third baseman.
Malina Meng pinch-hit for Daley and walked to lead off the fifth inning. Heather Hebert chased her with a single, and Meng came all the way around when the ball was mishandled by the center fielder. Hebert wound up on second base. She would move to third on a ground-out, and later score the game's final run when Crystal Dahlquist grounded out to short.
In Game 2, SFA jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and really turned it on late, putting up five runs in the fifth and four more on a grand slam by Tullos in the sixth that ended the game early on the NCAA mercy rule.
Higgs led off the game with a double to left center, then took third on a passed ball. She would score on a wild pitch, but SFA wasn't done. Dahlquist then singled through the left side of the infield and stole second. She would advance to third when Magen Butler grounded out to short, then Dahlquist came home on a passed ball. Tullos drew a walk then scored when the next batter, Kendal Harper, tripled to right-center.
In the fifth, Bishop blasted the first of two Ladyjack homers, scoring Hebert and Higgs. The three-run shot to dead center put SFA ahead, 6-1. The next batter, Tullos, hit a two-out double down the left field line, and pinch-hitter Crystal Garcia drew a walk. Carr then smacked a double past the diving Texas Southern third baseman, bringing both runners around to score and posting SFA to an 8-1 lead.
In the sixth, Michelle Huffman got on with a bunt single, then Bishop singled to left. Butler, batting in the cleanup spot, ripped a base hit up the middle to load the bases. That's when Tullos uncorked her four-run shot to left field to set the final score.
Butler improved to 1-1 on the season with the win. She allowed six hits and recorded one strikeout. Texas Southern's one run in the second inning was unearned.
SFA (11-18) will be back in action this weekend, when the Ladyjacks head to Hammond, La., for a three-game series against Southland Conference rival Southeastern Louisiana.
- SFA -