Hattiesburg, Miss – A two-run single by shortstop Cecilla Castillo with no outs in the 11th inning brought in the winning runs for Sam Houston as the Bearkats defeated Jacksonville State 5-3 in the first game of the Southern Mississippi Softball Classic Friday.
Shelby Lancaster earned the win in the pitching circle, spreading 13 hits over 11 innings. She faced 43 batters as she became only the ninth Bearkat softball player to pitch 11 or more innings in one game.
Tori Benavidez singled in the first inning, reached third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hillary Adams to give Sam Houston its initial run in the first inning.
Down 2-1 in the fourth inning, Castillo doubled then scored on a single by Alyssa Gregg to even the game. Sam Houston took a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth as Alyssa Coggins singled then scored on an error.
After Jacksonville tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth the two teams battled through four scoreless innings before the Kats scored the game winner.
The Southern Mississippi tournament continues through Sunday.