Softball Takes Doubleheader From SFA 2-0, 5-4

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HUNTSVILLE – Mandy Gegen’s two-run homer in the first game and a walk-off RBI single by Calli Wood in the nightcap allowed Sam Houston State to sweep a Southland Conference softball doubleheader by scores of 2-0 and 5-4 Tuesday afternoon.

Sam Houston upped its season record to 8-7 while SFA fell to 3-11.

Gegen hit her home run in the bottom of the fifth inning and Brandi Crnkovic spread five hits over seven innings for the 2-0 shutout in the first game of a Southland Conference softball doubleheader Tuesday afternoon.

Lumberjack pitcher Monika Covington retired the first 14 Bearkats she faced, striking out six. With two out in the bottom of the fifth, Amy Brown singled to left and Gegen homered to center to give the Bearkats a 2-0 lead.

Defense kept the Bearkats in the game early as Sam Houston State tied a school record with three double plays. Only three times before has a Kat softball team turned three double plays, the last in 2007 against Nicholls State.

A key double play came in the fourth inning with SFA runners on second and third. Mandy Gegen snagged a line drive by Ashley Struchtemeyer in center field and fired it to second base for the double play. The next batter, Karissa Jones, popped out to first base to end the inning.

Crnkovic (2-3) struck out four Jacks and walked only one. Covington (2-5) ended up surrendering five hits in the final two innings.

Stephen F. Austin held a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the final inning in the nightcap. The Jacks scored in the top of the first inning of the doubleheader nightcap as Kendal Harper and Kayla Gutowski hit back-to-back doubles to go up 1-0. Amber Price added a second run with a solo homer to center in the second inning. The Lumberjacks had the bases loaded with one out in the fifth inning but the Bearkats escaped without giving up another run.

The Jacks scored two more runs in the top of the seventh as Price singled, reached third on back-toback sacrifice bunts and scored on a single through the middle by Kendel Harper. Kayla Gutowski singled to score Harper.

Meanwhile, Jack pitcher Lauren Luetge limited the Bearkats to two hits in six innings.

But Sam Houston rallied for five runs on three hits. Covington relieved Luetge to take the loss.

Crnkovic was the winner again, spreading eight SFA hits over seven innings.

The two teams meet Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the final game of the SLC series, the first Southland Conference action for both teams.

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