HOUSTON, Texas- Stephen F. Austin split the doubleheader against the University of Houston Tuesday evening. Houston won the first game 5-0, and SFA won the second game 9-7. SFA moves to 18-16 (6-3 WAC) while UH moves to 16-17 (3-0 AAC).
Corie Byrd started on the mound for the Lumberjacks in the first game. The Cougars scored two in the first, one in the second, and two in the sixth. Both offenses were held scoreless in the middle innings due to great pitching from both teams. Lexi Benson, Gaby Garcia, and Kelby Robbins were the only ‘Jacks that recorded a hit in this game. Byrd recorded the loss after she pitched 5.2 innings, allowed five hits, five runs, four walks and struck out one batter.
SFA got the bats going in the first inning of the second game with a leadoff home run from Camryn Middlebrook, 1-0. Sydnee Hebert hit a single to left field, and Madison Nguyen was subbed in as a pinch runner. Mackenzie Bennett then stepped up to the plate and hit a single through the left side to put runners on first and third. Nguyen and Bennett executed a double steal and Nguyen was able to score off a fielding error by the shortstop, 2-0. UH answered with two runs of their own to tie the game after the first inning. Houston took the lead with five runs in third to give the Cougars a 7-2 lead. The top of the fifth inning started with two quick outs by the Lumberjacks, but after Hebert was walked and Bennett was hit by a pitch Garcia stepped up to the plate. Garcia blasted a three-run homer over the left field wall to cut the lead down to two, 7-5. In the sixth inning, the Cougars pitchers walked three ‘Jacks in a row to load up the bases. Hebert stepped up to the plate, but a wild pitch got away from the catcher which allowed Robbins to score and the runner to advance, 6-7. Hebert went back into the box, but the catcher lost the ball and Sydney Carithers was able to score on the passed ball, 7-7. Hebert continued her at-bat until another wild pitch was thrown which scored Mallory Webb from third. Hebert finally was walked, but the inning was ended when Bennett was struck out. UH hit a leadoff double and advanced the runner to third, but Sophie Hannabas was able to snag a line drive for the third out. Garcia started the seventh inning with a solo home run to extend SFA’s lead to 9-7 which secured the victory for the ‘Jacks.
Garcia and Robbins led the team with two hits. Garcia drove in four of the ‘Jacks five RBIs, and Middlebrook recorded the other. Hannabas recorded her fourth win of the season after pitching 4.0 innings, allowing three hits, no runs, and striking out one batter.
The ‘Jacks will be back at home Friday, April 7th at 5:00 p.m. for the first game of the series against UT Arlington.