McNeese State swept a Southland Conference softball doubleheader from Sam Houston State in Lake Charles, La., on Saturday, edging the Bearkats 2-1 and 3-2.

Shayla Cormier delivered a game-winning, pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning that scored Rachel Phillips for the winning run in game one.

Sam Houston State took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on a RBI single by Tanya Hooser that scored Sarah Parich, who led the game off with a single.

McNeese State’s Brooke Brodhead tied the game at two all on a solo homer in the bottom half of the inning. The game remained tied until Cormier’s game-winning hit.

In the seventh, Phillips singled with one out. Kristi Hanan doubled to advance Phillips to third setting up Cormier’s heroics.

Saturday’s first game centered around a pitching dual between McNeese’s Jessica Denham and Sam Houston State’s Shalayne Blythe. Denham picked up her 11th victory of the season and improved to 11-15. She gave up six hits and struck out six.

Blythe fell to 11-15 on the year and also went the distance, giving up five hits and striking out eight.

Brodhead led the Cowgirls, going 2-for-3, scoring one run and driving in another. Hanana and Jenny Clay had one extra-base hit apiece.

Freshman pitcher Rachel Hodlik kept the Bearkats off balance in the 3-2 nightcap victory. She struck out a career-high 12 batters and retired the final six batters of the game, four of which came by way of strikeouts. The victory improved Hodlik’s record to 6-10 on the season.

McNeese scored two runs in the second on a single by Lindsay Davis that scored Michelle LaVoie and Clay. Sam Houston State cut the Cowgirl lead to 2-1 with a run in the fourth on a single by Amanda Collier that scored Stephanie Mosely.

McNeese got that run back in their bottom half of the inning on a bases-loaded walk that scored Hanan to give the Cowgirls a 3-1 lead.

Sam Houston State collected three of its seven hits in the sixth inning, but were held to just one run in the inning. Sam Houstn State loaded the bases early in the inning on singles by Mosley, Elizabeth Gibson and Hooser.

Hodlik then struck out Amanda Collier and Casey Everitt before Mosley scored on a passed ball, cutting the Cowgirl lead to 3-2. Hodlik ended the Bearkat threat by striking out pinch hitter Kara Reeves to end the inning.

McNeese was unable to score in the seventh after leaving Cormier stranded on third and Allen on second.

Hodlik closed out the victory by striking out pinch-hitter Krystal Gay and getting Lauren Boone to fly out to center before Parich flew out to left for the final out of the game.

The series will conclude with a single game at 1 p.m. today.

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