Cowgirls sweep DH, series from Lamar, pitchers Tate, Vallejo dominate for second straight SLC sweep

Warren Arceneaux

A dominant performance from freshman pitcher Ashley Vallejo led McNeese State to a 2-1 win over Lamar in the second game of a doubleheader, giving the Cowgirls a sweep of the Southland Conference series.

McNeese (17-19, 8-4 SLC) has won its last six conference games.

Vallejo allowed two hits in 62⁄3 innings pitched while striking out seven. Saleen Flores earned a save, striking out the lone batter she faced to end the game with a Lamar (4-30, 0-12) runner on second base.

“Ashley pitched well; she got into the strike zone well, and once she got in she was able to change planes really well and kept them off balance, got them swinging at pitches out of the zone,” said Cowgirls head coach James Landreneau.

Lamar took a 1-0 lead on a solo home run by Nicolette Ramirez in the fourth inning. McNeese answered with two runs in the fifth. Alayis Seneca, Tayler Strother and Jil Poullard led off the inning with three consecutive singles. Seneca scored on Poullard’s hit and Strother scored on a Cory McCrary sacrifice fly.

Landreneau said the Cowgirls were too lax at the plate after getting 10 hits in the first game Saturday.

“I don’t think we moved on from the first game today very well,” he said. “We came in distracted a little bit, gave away some at-bats early.

“We were very patient the first game, were able to hit some balls hard in the gap; we had four or five doubles. The second game, we had some timid swings. (Lamar pitcher Shelby Mixon) threw a lot of off-speed pitches, got us to slow our bats down and forced a lot of weak contact from us.”

Game 1

McNeese 9

Lamar 0, 5 inns.

Whitney Tate tossed a one-hitter and the Cowgirls scored three runs in each of the last three innings.

Pinch hitter Amy Reed hit a double to the right-center field wall to score two runs to invoke the mercy rule in the bottom of the fifth.

Tate struck out five. Lamar’s lone hit came on an infield single by Audry Fleming to lead off the third inning.

“She was really aggressive in the strike zone,” Landreneau said of Tate. “She invited contact well, went in and out with them. When she gets ahead in counts, she is a hard pitcher to square up. That was the difference today.”

Seneca had two hits and two runs for McNeese. Chloe Gomez, Kaylee Lopez, Haylee Brinlee and Strother each had an RBI double for McNeese.

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