Two unfortunate incidents took place Saturday at the Bearkat Softball Complex, but in the end, Sam Houston State’s lack of production at the plate helped McNeese State come away with a three-game series sweep.
The Bearkats were held to just five hits, two coming in the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Cowgirls rolled to a 6-0 victory.
Shortstop Hailey Wiginton and right fielder Erin Burford both went 2-for-4 at the plate, but Sam Houston (4-11 in SLC, 12-22 overall) couldn’t get a timely hit to push across any runs.
“Right now we are just a good ballclub with some glitches,” Bearkats head coach Bob Brock said. “I told the team we just have to get back out here Monday and work hard. We can’t give up on the season. I’ll work on it over the weekend and figure out something to get us more focused and into the game.”
The Cowgirls (9-9, 21-20) scored the only run they basically needed in a scary first inning that saw players from both squads get injured.
McNeese State right fielder Lindsey Langner walked to begin the game and raced around to score on a triple by second baseman Marissa Koetting. There was a play at the plate, but the throw was off the mark and Langner collided with SHSU catcher Ashley Isbell.
Isbell was shaken up on the play, but after a brief delay, she returned to the game.
With one out, Cowgirls first baseman Heather Mosser hit a grounder to third. SHSU third baseman Brittany Gutierrez looked the runner back and threw to first for the out.
Koetting broke for home on the play and Bearkats first baseman Amy Brown quickly fired home. But Mosser wasn’t clear of the throw and was hit in the face.
The game was delayed for 25 minutes before Mosser was carted off the field on a stretcher and transported to Huntsville Memorial Hospital. She was conscious, but her condition was unknown following the game.
Since a zero retaliation order was issued to both teams by the umpires following the collision at home plate, Brown was ejected to cool things down, even though it was an accident .
It looked like the Bearkats were going to answer in the bottom of the first when Wiginton led off with a triple. McNeese starter Meagan Bond (12-7) struck out the next three batters, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
“I’m not sure what is going on,” Brock said. “We come out and get 17 hits and can’t win a ballgame. Then we come out and get five hits and can’t score a run. We seem to be in a rut. It gets familiar. We just need to get out of it.”
Senior pitcher Morgan Mikulin (8-15) prevented the Cowgirls from opening the game up early on. McNeese scored a run in the second and the fourth innings to go up 3-0.
Mikulin ran into trouble in the fifth, allowing runs to score on a walk and a wild pitch. But with a lack of production at the plate, Sam Houston was doomed long before that.
Shelbi Tucker and Wiginton both singled in the seventh before Bond closed the door with a strikeout to end the game.
“It would take a lot of pressure off our pitchers if we could get a lead early,” Brock added. “One of our problems is that we are giving teams too many outs. We make some bad plays and then when we bat, we go three up, three down.
“I have learned that if you keep making bad plays, you are going to eventually give up a big hit that scores a run that shouldn’t even be there.”
The Bearkats return to action Wednesday when they host Houston Baptist for a doubleheader at 4 p.m.