Cowgirls work quick, topple Lamar

Published 9:35 pm Friday, April 5, 2024

Maybe desperate is too rough a word, but the Cowgirls sure enjoyed a fast start Friday night.

After a tough two days at Florida State, McNeese returned to Southland Conference play and jumped all over rival Lamar at Cowgirl Diamond.

The Cowgirls used four runs in the bottom of the first and another three in the fifth for a 7-0 victory over the Cardinals. 

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With the win, McNeese continued to lead the SLC at 9-1, 24-15 overall, and are a half-game up on second-place Southeastern. Lamar fell to 9-4, 23-14.

“We were fortunate to get traffic on base early and take advantage of it,” said McNeese head coach James Landreneau. 

The Cowgirls also took advantage of two key errors early by the Cardinals that helped them grab a 4-0 lead in the first inning.

That was more than enough for ace right-hander Shaelyn Sanders, who went the distance to improve her record to 12-7. Sanders allowed just three hits and struck out eight while walking just two. 

She credited the early runs for helping make the game go smoothly.

“It was good for our offense to put up those four runs early,” Sanders said. “It gave me confidence.”

After losing two to the 17th-ranked Seminoles, McNeese could refocus quickly and flush the defeated.

“The bus ride back we came together and bonded,” said Sanders.

Corine Poncho was the only Cowgirl to get two hits, as she also scored a pair of runs. Six of the McNeese runs were unearned, making Cardinal starter Emma Wardlow the tough-luck loser. Her record fell to 9-3.

Two errors on Lamar third baseman Trinity Brandon in the first inning led to three unearned runs. The three runs in the fifth were also unearned. 

However, the Cowgirls could not get the eighth run in to end the game early.

“I would like to see us a little more aggressive to finish the game,” said Landreneau.

The two teams will finish their series today at 1 p.m. with a doubleheader. 

“We have to forget about this one and come back strong tomorrow,” said Landreneau. “It will be a much different game and we know they are a good team.”