Kim Damian’s RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning brought in the winning run as Sam Houston defeated Central Arkansas 9-8 in the second game of a Southland softball doubleheader Saturday.
Behind 13 strikeouts by UCA pitcher Kelsie Armstrong, the Bears won the first game of the doubleheader 5-3. The two teams will meet in the third and final game of the series Sunday at 12 noon.
The loss in the nightcap was Central Arkansas’s first in conference play. UCA is 20-8 for the year and 4-1 in the Southland. Sam Houston now stands 13-15 for the year and 2-3 in league action.
Shortstop Lissa Avitia unleashed a double down the left field line to put a run on the board for UCA in the top of the second inning of Saturday’s first game. The shot scored first baseman Ashley Boswell who reached second on an error.
Hillary Adams got the run back immediately, leading off the bottom of the second with a solo shot to left center for the designated player’s ninth home run of the 2013 season.
Third baseman Tiffany Roby put the Bears up 2-1 in the top of the fourth with her third home run of the year on a shot to left center. UCA upped its margin to 5-1 with a two-run double by pinch hitter Jessie Taylor and a sacrifice fly by right fielder Sam Forest in the top of the sixth inning.
The Bearkats picked up two runs in the bottom of the fifth as catcher Ashley Isbell produced her second home run of the season.
Kelsie Armstrong, the Southland Conference’s strike out leader this season, fanned 13 Bearkats in the first game to up her record to 13-5. Shelby Lancaster (7-5) took the loss in the pitching circle. Amber Neal pitched one and two thirds innings in relief.
Kim Damian continued the home run parade with a solo shot to left fielder to open the second game for the Bearkats.
A three-run triple by center fielder Tori Benavidez and an RBI single by right fielder Cecilia Castillo added four runs to the Bearkat total in the second. Back-to-back run-scoring singles by shortstop Tiffany Castillo and left fielder Jessica Slater lifted Sam Houston to a 7-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning.
SHSU pitcher Meme Quinn did not give up a hit until the fourth inning and shut out the Bears for five innings before giving up a home run to Ashley Boswell in the sixth. The solo shot opened the floodgates, however as UCA ended the innings with seven more runs and an 8-7 lead.