BEAUMONT, Texas — Lamar University softball ended the night early with a 9-1 run-rule victory over Houston Baptist in five innings Tuesday evening at the LU Softball Complex.
The Cardinals (6-20) scored six runs in the second inning. It all started when senior infielder Kaylee Ancelot led off the inning by blasting an opposite field solo home run to right-center.
The hit parade continued with a single by sophomore outfielder Audry Fleming. After sophomore outfielder Hayley Freudenberg reached base via error, sophomore infielder Hannah Kinkade hit an RBI single to right-center to provide Big Red a 2-0 lead. With the bases loaded, Hayley Freudenberg crossed home plate on an RBI fielder's choice by freshman outfielder Piper Hankins to push the lead to three. After Houston Baptist secured the second out of the inning, junior infielder Nicolette Ramirez brought Hankins across home plate on an RBI single to right field. Sophomore infielder Sam Bean capped off the six-run inning with a two-run double to bring home Ramirez and sophomore infielder Brooke Davis. At the end of the inning, LU scored its runs on five hits, one error and left one runner on base.
Both offenses went quiet until the fifth inning. Houston Baptist (10-16) would score an unearned run in the top of the fifth, but the Cardinals had an answer. Just like in the second inning, Ancelot led off. The senior slugger would start the inning with a single. Senior outfielder Aleka Xayaseng would come in as a pinch-runner. She would advance as Fleming drew a base on balls. Freudenberg brought Xayaseng in from second on an RBI single to right field. Freshman Kalyn Xayaseng would pinch-run for Freudenberg, eventually stealing second base and drawing a throw which allowed Fleming to cross home plate. With Xayaseng in scoring position, Kinkade provided the walk-off RBI single to center bringing Xayaseng home to cap off the run-rule.
Senior pitcher Aaliyah Ruiz pitched a gem. Her seventh complete game of the season comes at the expense of one unearned run on four hits and two walks. Ruiz struck out three batters, pushing her career total to 207. The 28th complete game of her career brings her to a tie with Karen Castilaw for third on the LU softball all-time list.
The run-rule is the first since Feb. 15, 2020 when the Cardinals defeated St. John's 10-2 at the Reveille Classic in College Station, Texas. LU softball has now won two of its last four games.
The Cardinals look to build on the victory this weekend when Tarleton State comes to the Golden Triangle for a three-game conference series. Friday will feature a doubleheader with game three Saturday. First pitch of game one Friday is set for 4 p.m. at the LU Softball Complex.