Niagara falls to Cowgirls, 8-0

Published 2:08 pm Friday, February 23, 2024

On a team of veterans, a pair of rookies proved their worth for the Cowgirls.

True freshmen Samantha Mundine and Alexis Dibbley had starring roles in McNeese State’s 8-0 thumping of Niagara Friday morning in the opener of the Cowgirl Classic II tournament.

McNeese played a late second game Friday night against North Dakota. 

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Mundine and Dibbley combined for four hits and drove in three runs as the Cowgirls won their third straight and improved to 8-4. 

“For freshmen, they are very composed,” said McNeese head coach James Landreneau. “They have come up with some big hits for us the last couple of games. The moments have not been too big for them.

“They have been clutch for us.”

Mundine may be the key to the McNeese offense. Batting behind slugger Corine Poncho, who was walked three times by Niagara pitchers, the right-fielder will get her chances to do damage. 

In the second her single scored the last of three runs as McNeese took the lead. Her two-out single to left drove in the first two of five after Poncho had been walked to load the bases.

For the season Mundine is hitting .464 with a team-high 13 RBIs in just the 12 games. Dibbley, who also started on the mound and went three innings, raised her average to .500.

“That is huge, to have somebody hit behind Corine,” said Landreneau. “The word will get around if they keep hitting and then they will have to pitch to Poncho. And she can run and make them pay if they keep putting her on.

“And I think Mundine will hit for power as well. I really like the way the lineup is starting to come together.”

Rylie Bouvier, who started the scoring in the second with a single and then came home on Mariana Torres’ bunt single, also had two hits. Torres did the same as the Cowgirls finished with 10 hits overall.

McNeese proved it wasn’t just about power either, as it used speed and some small ball to jump ahead.

“I don’t think we can get away from our roots,” said Landreneau. “We don’t want to be one-dimensional and just wait for the home runs.”

Ryann Schexnayder picked up the win in relief, going two scoreless innings while allowing just one hit. The lefty improved her record to 4-2 with the victory. 

Niagara starter Maddi Hickingbottom took the loss. It was the first game the Purple Eagles have played. 

McNeese will finish the event today at 1:30 p.m. against Niagara once again.