April 27, 2014
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – On Senior Day, it was one of the six seniors who provided the dramatic finish to Sunday’s win with a walk-off two-run home run from shortstop Elizabeth Arana.
With Stephen F. Austin trailing 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh and one out, Arana blasted a 2-2 pitch over the fence in left field to drive in Brittany Lewis and win the game 8-7. The victory completed the sweep over Lamar (20-25, 12-11) this weekend and helped catapult the Ladyjacks from seventh place in the Southland Conference standings at the beginning of the weekend all the way into third.
“We were just trying to get one hit at a time, base hit after base hit. It just happened to be a bigger hit and something that everyone had hoped for,” Arana said after the game. “SFA has been such a big part of my career. I just wanted to give it back to the girls, to the team to the university.
“Right when I saw it go off the bat I did (know it was a home run) and tears started falling before I got to first base.”
SFA (21-24, 12-10) trailed 7-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh when the Ladyjacks began their come-from-behind win.
The top of the order starting the seventh inning for SFA, and Alisa Hamilton quickly got on base with a single through the left side for her third hit of the day. Senior Cadie Weaver followed with an infield hit.
Shalie Day got the momentum going even more in SFA’s favor with a single up the middle to plate Hamilton and make it 7-4. Katelyn Standley had a grounder slip under the second baseman’s glove to score Weaver. Then, a throwing error by the right fielder allowed pinch runner Taylor Vick to advance to third and Standley to move to second.
SFA now trailed 7-5 with no outs and two runners in scoring position. Lewis ripped the ball up the middle to score Vick, and Standley was gunned out at home trying to tie the game.
Lamar made its second pitching change of the inning to face Arana. After working the count to two balls and two strikes, Arana blasted the ball over the fence to complete the comeback and the sweep.
“They know where we’re sitting in the conference and they knew what we needed to do today. Those seniors wanted to win today and they went out and got it,” said Head Coach Gay McNutt. “It says to us that we’re a team that’s going in hot this last week or two and that we want to win. We want to do something that we haven’t done the last few years. This was a huge sweep for us.”
SFA will close the regular season next weekend at Sam Houston State. The Bearkats are currently in second place in the Southland Conference standings and 2.5 games ahead of SFA.