The Sam Houston State softball team got off to a good start at the Domino’s Pizza Classic on Saturday afternoon at the Bearkat Softball Complex.

The Bearkats made it a clean sweep, winning their first two home games of the season by beating Louisiana-Monroe 3-2 in the opener before knocking off Texas Southern 6-3 in the night cap. With the victories SHSU improved to 4-4 overall this season.

“We are happy with winning both games today,” Bearkat head coach Bob Brock said. “We are still trying to find out who we are. Last weekend we didn’t have any games, and this was only our eighth game of the season. We are young and have to learn how to come out here and play everyone as hard as we can play them.”

Former Huntsville standout Morgan Mikulin (3-2) tossed a complete game and gave up one earned run while striking out three to pick up the victory over the Warhawks in game one.

The Bearkats struck first when second baseman Krystal Gay launched a two-run home run in the second inning to score catcher Casey Everitt, who was hit by a pitch.

The Warhawks answered in the top of the third to cut the lead to 2-1. Mikulin got the first two batters out to start the frame, but back-to-back singles put runners in scoring position. Jamie Liles followed with another single to bring home Heather Hanson.

The game remained 2-1 until the bottom of the sixth when SHSU added an insurance run. Stephanie Mosley reached on an error to start the inning then later came around to score on a fielder’s choice by Everitt.

ULM threatened in the top of the seventh with a pair of one-out singles by Cary Roussel and Hanson to get runners on base. A fielding error then moved Roussel over to third before Christy Waguespack ripped a single to center field to make it 3-2.

Hanson tried to tie the game up on the hit but Mosley gunned her down at the plate to save a run. Mikulin then got the next hitter to strike out for the victory.

“We have been working hard in practice at hitting and I thought we hit the ball well today,” Mikulin said. “Our defense was good and I knew if I could hit my spots the rest of the team would back me up.”

Sophomore Brandi Crnkovic (1-2) took the mound for SHSU in game two and scattered five hits in five innings, giving up two earned runs with five strike outs to earn the win.

The Bearkats took a 4-0 lead thanks to a three-run third inning. Amy Brown drew a one-out walk to get things started then stole second before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Lauren Burns followed with another walk to set up a two-run double by Mosley, who later scored on a single by Ashley Nelson.

Crnkovic got into a little trouble in the bottom of the fourth when Texas Southern got a two runs on a passed ball and a single by Marissa DeLarosa to cut the lead to 4-3.

Mikulin came in the game in relief in the sixth and pitched two shutout innings to nail it down and pick up her first save of the season.

The Bearkats scored a pair of runs in the top of the sixth when singles by Sarah Parich and Mandy Collier set up a two-run double by Brown.

“We got some pretty big hits there at the end,” Brock said. “I think Brandi started out and got a little unfocused. But I thought our pitching was pretty good overall. We had some big timely hits and a lot of enthusiasm which will pay off down the road.”

Collier combined to go 3-for-4 on the day, and Mosley was 3-for-6 with a pair of runs and two RBI. Brown was 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI, while Burns and Nelson each had a hit and an RBI.

The Bearkats close out the tournament today when they face ULM at 1 p.m. before finishing with Texas Southern at 3:30.

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