Ladyjack Run Ends in SLC Semifinals
May 10, 2014
HAMMOND, La. - Stephen F. Austin continued its run through the Southland Conference tournament, knocking off rival Sam Houston State 8-6 before falling to top-seeded McNeese State 9-0 in the semifinals.
After a dominating 5-0 victory over Central Arkansas to open the day, the Ladyjacks went head-to-head with third seeded Sam Houston State with a trip to the semifinals on the line. SFA carried over its momentum from game one, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead in the first off a double from Shalie Day that scored Cadie Weaver.
Not long after Lewis' blast, heavy rains began to fall once again in the Hammond area, causing a 45-minute delay. The delay seemed to cool down the Ladyjack bats as Sam Houston State responded with two runs in the third, one in the fourth and two more in the fifth as the Bearkats took a 5-4 lead over the Ladyjacks who had yet to record a hit since the delay.
That changed in the top of the sixth when Lewis led off the inning with a double to right, followed by an RBI double by Taylor LeFlore three batters later to drive in the tying run at 5-5 after six. The Ladyjacks then staved off a Bearkat rally in the sixth, ending the inning with a double play to keep the game knotted.
In the seventh, SFA loaded the bases off a pair of hits and a walk before Lindsay Campbell notched a two-RBI single to right, giving the Ladyjacks the lead once again at 7-5. LeFlore then reached base on a fielding error by the SHSU first baseman, allowing Arana to score and give SFA an insurance run at 8-5 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Sam Houston State recorded a pair of quick outs, then made a late rally, pushing one run across the plate before Carlie Thomas ended the game with a strikeout, eliminating the Bearkats and advancing SFA to the semifinals.
Standley went 3-for-4 against the Bearkats with a pair of runs scored while Lewis went 2-for-3 with the three RBIs coming off her third-inning blast. Day was 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored while Campbell made her one hit of the afternoon count, driving in a pair of Ladyjacks.
Thomas recorded her second complete game of the day, allowing six runs (four earned) on eight hits with four strikeouts, improving to 17-14 on the year.
Following the victory, SFA faced the task of turning right around to face the top-ranked Cowgirls, playing its third game of the day. The Ladyjacks found themselves in a hole early as McNeese State pushed a run across in the first. SFA tried to respond, getting a pair of baserunners on in the bottom of the inning with one out but left them stranded.
That proved to be SFA's best scoring opportunity as the Cowgirls broke the game open in the second with a grand slam homerun, taking a commanding 5-0 lead. McNeese State would add four more runs in the fourth off four hits and a pair of Ladyjack errors, taking a 9-0 lead, then shut down SFA in the fourth and fifth to earn the run-rule victory and eliminate SFA from the SLC Championships.
The Ladyjacks end the season with a 26-27 record, closing the year by winning five of its last six SLC games. SFA made a mark for itself in 2014, picked to finish near the bottom of the standings of the preseason rankings but earned the number four seed in the tournament, its first appearance since 2010, advancing to the SLC semifinals with a pair of victories Saturday afternoon.