HUNTSVILLE, TX -- With six Southland Conference games to play in the next two weeks, Sam Houston State is tied for second place in the league and is just two games out of first.
After a 1-13 start (playing nationally-ranked teams like Texas, Texas A&M, Houston and Oklahoma State), Sam Houston has won 21 of their last 25 games.
A major reason for the Kats' success has been the long ball.
The 2012 Sam Houston softball team already has broken the school record for home runs.
The Kats have put 42 balls over the fence in 39 games. That breaks the school season record of 39 home runs set in 2006. The 2005 (33 home runs) and the 2006 squads are the only other Bearkat teams that have totaled more than 30 homers in a year.
Sam Houston State leads the Southland Conference in home runs this year. Central Arkansas is second with 33.
Four Bearkat players rank among the top five home run hitters in the Southland.
Third baseman Shelbi Tucker is tied for league leadership with Meghan Gomez of Southeastern Louisiana. Each player has nine home runs this year. First baseman Kim Damian has eight home runs while shortstop Sarah Allison and designated player/catcher Hillary Adams both have hit seven home runs.
Five other players on the Bearkat roster - Ashley Isbell (4), Tori Benavidez (3), Erin Martin (2), Calli Wood (1) and Erin Burford (1) - have hit homers.
"The great thing about all the home runs is the confidence it gives your offense," SHSU head coach Bob Brock said. "If you get down a run, you know you have the ability to catch up with just one swing."
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the team SHSU is tied with for second place, is the Bearkats' next opponent. The two play Tuesday in a 2 p.m. doubleheader. The Bearkats will complete their Southland schedule with a road trip to UT-Arlington Friday and Saturday and a home series with
Texas State Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5.
The Islanders are 16-16 for the season and have won their last six Southland games in a row.