SFA Blasts Its Way to Doubleheader Split
April 5, 2014
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin split its Southland Conference doubleheader with Abilene Christian Saturday at SFA Softball Field. The Ladyjacks dropped a 4-3 10-inning heartbreaker in the opening stanza, then saw their bats come alive in a 12-4 six-inning route of the Wildcats in game two.
With the split, SFA stands at 16-19 on the season and 7-6 in SLC play. The Ladyjacks improved to 8-2 on the season at home and remain within striking distance of the top of the SLC standings.
In the opening game of the day, SFA and ACU (16-19, 5-3) engaged in a pitcher’s duel through the first three innings as the teams combined for just one hit. The Ladyjacks got on the board in the bottom of the fourth with Katelyn Standley corking her team-best eighth home run of the year, giving SFA the early 1-0 lead.
The Ladyjacks would add another run in the fifth as Lindsay Campbell led off the stanza with a single, then worked her way around to third off a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt. A passed by the Wildcats allowed her to score from third, giving SFA the 2-0 lead after five.
SFA was three outs away from clinching a victory when the ACU bats came alive in the top of the seventh, scoring twice to knot the game at 2-2 and force extra innings. The game extended into the 10th inning when the Wildcats scored twice to put themselves ahead 4-2.
The Ladyjacks nearly completed the comeback as a single by Elizabeth Arana scored Alisa Hamilton, who was placed on second following international competition rules. Arana would advance to second with two outs when Brittany Lewis looked as if she would tie the game with a deep drive to center, but it fell into the outstretched glove of the center fielder to give ACU the 4-3 victory.
Carlie Thomas was charged with the loss, pitching all 10 innings for SFA and allowing just four runs (three earned) on six hits with eight strikeouts on 175 pitches. Arana and Standley both went 2-for-5 with an RBI for the Ladyjacks.
The Wildcats would carry that late momentum into the second game of the doubleheader, notching a pair of runs in the top of the first inning to put the Ladyjacks into an early hole. But SFA’s bats came alive against ACU’s pitching as the Ladyjacks would cross home plate three times each in the first, third and fourth innings.
SFA held a 3-2 lead after the first, then extended that advantage to 4-2 after the second. ACU rallied to tie the game 4-4 in the third, but the Ladyjacks then poured it on, taking a 7-4 lead after the third and holding a 10-4 advantage after four complete.
Leading 10-4 in the sixth, Arana notched a sacrifice fly to center to score Campbell from third. Day then ended it in the next at bat, ripping an RBI single to left as Hamilton scored the 12th-run of the game, giving the Ladyjacks the eight-run mercy rule.
Day would lead the way for SFA, going 3-for-5 in the second game with three RBIs and a run scored, notching RBIs in the first, second and sixth innings. Arana and Standley both recorded doubles for the Ladyjacks as Standley notched a pair of RBIs to complement one from Arana. Lewis was 1-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, blasting a two-run shot to right center in the fourth to break the game open.
Lewis also picked up the win in the circle for SFA, allowing four runs (two earned) on nine hits with a pair of strikeouts in her six innings of work.
SFA and ACU now get set for the rubber game of the three-game series, which is set for a noon start on Sunday. Gametracker live stats are available at SFAJacks.com along with Twitter updates @SFA_Softball.