BEAUMONT, Texas — Having secured their first postseason win in six years, Lamar University’s softball team looked to continue their tournament run in the Southland Conference tournament. But while they would knock off the Colonels of Nicholls in the first game in thrilling fashion, the magic would run out against Southeastern Louisiana in the tournament semifinals. LU’s season comes to an end with 22 wins, the most since 2019.
LU found themselves down 4-3 entering the top of the seventh inning of their first elimination game against Nicholls only to find a way to score twice and win 5-4. While Karyana Mitchell (3.1 IP, three runs, three K’s, two hits) started the game, Fadwa Ben Karim (2.0 IP, one run, two hits) and Aaliyah Ruiz (1.2 IP, one BB) would both relieve her and it was Ruiz who was tabbed with the win. Cameron Niedenthal was once again three-of-three with a three-run homer while Felixia Hinojosa drove in the winning RBI. Estela Garza and Aleka Xayaseng each picked up two hits.
But the second game would turn out to be an 8-0 defeat at the hands of the Lions of SLU. The Cardinal bats were held to just three hits all game long while Ruiz would be tabbed with the loss with three runs allowed on five hits. Sam Bean, Hinojosa, and Brooke Davis would each record a hit.
Game 1: LU 5, Nicholls 4
It took one pitch into the game for LU to get their first hit on an Estela Garza single. After a one-out walk to Ancelot, Niedenthal came up and sent a deep drive to left for a three-run homer. The Cardinals threatened to score in the third inning as they loaded the bases before a groundout back to the pitcher ended the threat.
Feeding of stopping the threat, the Colonels knotted the score at three in their half of the third inning. Then they loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning and sought for the lead. But Ben Karim entered in the circle and slammed the opportunity shut to keep the score tied. With two outs in the fifth inning, the Colonels scratched across the go ahead run to lead 4-3.
But LU showed grit and determination as they rallied back. Following a leadoff single by Ancelot and a hit by pitch to Niedenthal, the Cardinals would tie the game as Ramirez reached on a squeeze play to score pinch runner Kalyn Xayaseng. Then, Hinojosa singled to center bringing home pinch runner Audry Fleming for a 5-4 lead. Ruiz, who had relieved Ben Karim, shut down the Colonels in the seventh, which only fittingly ended with another catch by Ramirez.
Game 2: SLU 8, LU 0 (5 Inn.)
The Lions would get up to a 3-0 lead in the first two innings. Brooke Davis would get LU in the hit column with a single in the third inning, but the SLU pitching prevented a chance to score in the third inning. The Lions would then score five more runs in the next two innings. LU would try to score in the fifth inning putting two runners on base. It wasn’t to be as the Lions finished off the victory for LU’s final out of the season.