Cowgirls look to keep rolling

Published 11:12 am Thursday, April 11, 2024

It has not been the straightest of lines but the Cowgirls are back on course.

Now, halfway through the Southland Conference softball season, McNeese State is in a familiar position, leading the league with 12 games remaining.

“We can’t worry about anything but ourselves,” said McNeese head coach James Landreneau. ‘We have to take it a day at a time and just keep getting better.

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“I think we haven’t played our best yet, which is something to look forward to.”

The Cowgirls head to Texas A&M-Commerce for a three-game weekend series starting with a doubleheader Friday. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.

McNeese is 26-15, 11-1, and holds a one-game lead over Southeastern, which plays Northwestern State this weekend. Commerce is 7-36, 0-15.

So it’s a series of first against last, but Cowgirls can’t get caught looking ahead.

“You have to realize that they have played a lot of teams close, 1-0,” said Landreneau. “Our focus can’t be on the other team. It is up to us to make sure we play our game.”

McNeese leads the conference in home runs with 26, half of them provided by sophomore slugger Corine Poncho. Her 13 homers are more than half the other teams in the league including Commerce, which is last with just eight.

The Cowgirl offense has been led by two freshmen, Samantha Mundine and Alexis Dibbley. The two rookies lead McNeese in hitting while batting in the middle of the order.

Mundine leads the Cowgirls at .339 while Dibbley is at .330, where Rylie Bouvier joins her. Dibbley is also 3-1 as a pitcher.

Senior right-hander Shaelyn Sanders is the likely starter for McNeese’s series opener. She has posted a 12-7 record with a 2.21 earned run average. Her dozen wins are one behind the SLC leader.

The Cowgirls have won 11 of their last 13 overall, with the only two losses coming last week against No. 17 Florida State on the road. Last weekend they swept Lamar at home.

“One thing about this team is it has been resilient and able to bounce back,” said Landreneau. “We still need to be more consistent.”