April 26, 2008
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -
The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack softball team held its ground in the Southland Conference standings Saturday with a doubleheader split at UTSA. The Ladyjacks exploded for a 9-0 win in the opener, then dropped Game 2, 2-0.
SFA came into the series with a half-game lead on the Roadrunners for second place in the SLC and left the field in the same position. The Ladyjacks are 17-8 in conference play with a 32-19 overall record.
SFA did most of its damage in Game 1 with a five-run third inning. The Ladyjacks opened the inning with three consecutive singles by Monica Hirsch, Benet Higgs and Kendal Harper, with Hirsch coming home on Harper's base knock. After Kari Hugie reached base on a fielder's choice that cut down Higgs at the plate, senior Jessica Tullos roped a double that brought Harper and Hugie both around to score. Tullos came home when the next batter - Briana Bishop - singled up the middle. Two at-bats later, Moriah Davis doubled to score Bishop and give SFA a 6-0 lead.
The Ladyjacks padded their advantage in the fourth with three more runs on two hits and a couple of Roadrunner errors. Hirsch led off with a bunt single, then stole second. She scored when Higgs reached on an error and moved to second on the play. Harper then reached with a bunt single that moved pinch-runner Candise Juarez to third base. Harper stole second and chased Juarez across the plate when the next batter, Hugie, reached on a fielding error.
Freshman Monika Covington shut the Roadrunners out on five hits with six strikeouts to record the run-rule-shortened victory. Covington improved to 17-9 with the win.
In all, the Ladyjacks out-hit UTSA, 12-5, in the opener.
In the second game, though, SFA could muster just four hits to the Roadrunners' seven. Only two of UTSA's hits proved damaging, though. The Roadrunners homered in the second and sixth innings, giving them all the scoring they needed.
Higgs and Tullos each hit safely once, as did Ashley Struchtemeyer and Kim Daley.
Freshman Lauren Luetge (11-4) started and pitched three innings. She was touched for six hits and the Roadrunners' first run, while striking out three. Covington worked three innings of relief, and the only hit she allowed was UTSA's second homer. She posted two strikeouts.
The Ladyjacks and Roadrunners will conclude the three-game series Sunday with a single game starting at noon.
-- SFA --