NATCHITOCHES, Louisiana -- A 5-4 loss to Northwestern State in a “winner-take-all” final Saturday in Natchitoches ended an amazing run by the No. 3 seeded Bearkats in the 2013 Southland Conference softball tournament.
After falling to 1-0 to Northwestern State in a game interrupted by a 15-hour rain delay Thursday and Friday, Sam Houston four consecutive victories, outscoring Lamar, Southeastern Louisiana, Central Arkansas and Northwestern State 30-9.
But the Demons bounced back from a 5-0 shutout in the first title game to win a shoot out that came down to the last out to earn the Southland’s NCAA playoff berth as the No. 2 seed.
“After 16 hours of softball, it came down to one run,” SHSU head coach Bob Brock. “I’m proud of how hard our kids fought today. I’m especially proud of the leadership our four seniors gave this year. The fact that all four earned all-tournament honors shows just how valuable they have been.”
Sam Houston appeared to be in the driver’s seat after a two-run homer by Kim Damian and an RBI single by Shelbi Tucker in the sixth inning gave the Bearkats a 4-3 lead.
But a two-run single by Cali Burke brought in the winning runs in the top of the seventh. With runners at second and third and two outs, the Demons retired the Bearkats to earn the win.
Sam Houston ends the season with a 37-24 mark. The Demons advance to the playoffs with a 40-13 record.
Designated Hillary Adams put the first run on the board with an RBI single to left field in the top of the first inning. The hit scored second baseman Alyssa Coggins who singled and reached second on a wild pitch.
Brittany Virgoe evened the score at 1-1 with a solo home run over the left field bleachers, her eighth home run of the year and the first run for the Demons in nine innings Saturday.
Both teams left runners stranded on third base in the third inning. Natalie Landry put the Demons ahead 3-1 in the top of the fourth inning with a two-run homer to left center.
Shelby Lancaster (15-8) was the losing pitcher for Sam Houston.
Following the tournament, six Bearkats were selected as all-tournament including Benavidez, Coggins, Damian, Tucker and Isbell.