Cowgirls open SLC schedule

Published 1:00 pm Friday, March 17, 2023

Defending conference champion McNeese State opens its Southland schedule against Incarnate Word at 5 p.m. today in San Antonio.

The Cowgirls (16-9) have won two straight and three of their last four and are coming off a 9-1 home win over Houston Wednesday night. They are 3-3 in road games.

McNeese, which is third in the conference in hitting, is led by Chloe Gomez (.329, 9 RBIs), Alayis (.317), Mariana Torres (.231, 12 RBIs) and Crislyne Moreno (.255, 11 RBIs).

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In the circle, the Cowgirls lean on ace Whitney Tate (7-1, 1.58 ERA, 3 SHO) who has 40 strikeouts against eight walks in 62 innings. They use Ashley Vallejo (4-7, 3.86, 1 Sv) as a starter and Lindsay Davis (3-1, 2.86, 2 Sv) as the primary reliever. The Cowgirls rank second in the SLC in pitching.

McNeese boasts the best fielding team in the Southland with a .971 fielding percentage and 19 double plays, 13 more than the next-closest team, Southeastern Louisiana.

The Cardinals (9-10-1, 1-2 SLC), who are 5-2-1 at home, will be playing their second conference series. They opened their SLC schedule last weekend by winning the first of a three-game series at Nicholls State. Their midweek game against Southern University was canceled.

Kendall McGary (.340, 2 HR, 11 RBIs) leads UIW in hitting and RBIs. She’s followed by Giselle Villarreal (.339), Baylee Lemons (.323, 2 HR, 8 RBIs), Julia Cordon (.321) and Ryleigh Mata (.313, 7 RBIs). Victoria Altamirano (.276, 9 RBIs) has a team-high three home runs.

UIW pitchers include Aaliyah Garcia (3-3, 2.53) who has 38 strikeouts but with 16 walks in 441/3 innings. The Cardinals also use Madison Floyd (1-4, 3.98) and Samantha Portillo (1-1, 4.99).