April 29, 2007
NATCHITOCHES, La. -
The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks took first-inning leads before falling by the wayside in the first two games of their Southland Conference softball series at Northwestern State. In Sunday's finale, SFA fell behind early and couldn't recover, as the Ladyjacks suffered a 6-4 defeat, giving the Demons a three-game sweep in SFA's final SLC series of the year.
The loss -- SFA's eighth straight -- leaves the Ladyjacks at 19-35 overall and 12-17 in conference play. After being swept in each of their last two league series of the season, the Ladyjacks have been eliminated from the six-team SLC Tournament.
Sunday, SFA came alive for four runs in the last two innings. But the Ladyjacks had spotted Northwestern State a 6-0 lead through five innings, and the late production was not enough.
The Ladyjacks plated three runs on two hits and an error in the sixth inning. Right fielder Kendal Harper led off with a bunt single, then took second base on a passed ball. The next batter, Benet Higgs, was hit by a pitch, and Higgs and Harper moved to second and third, respectively on a sacrifice bunt by Malina Meng. Both runner scored when Briana Bishop singled through the left side. Bishop took second on the play and scored when Jessie Tullos reached on an error in the next at-bat.
Harper again started a rally in the seventh, when she roped a one-out triple down the right field line. She crossed the plate on a Higgs single up the middle to make it a two-run game. But Higgs was caught stealing, and Meng struck out swinging to end the game.
Sophomore Kari Hugie (9-15) started and worked three innings for the Ladyjacks, as she took the loss. Hugie allowed two runs -- one earned -- on two hits and two walks with a strikeout. Freshman Magen Butler pitched the final three innings, allowing four runs on two hits and six walks.
The Ladyjacks will wrap up their season this week with a doubleheader at North Texas.
-- SFA --