BEAUMONT, Texas —
Lamar University softball fought hard Friday evening, but fell 6-2 to McNeese at the LU Softball Complex.
The Cowgirls (27-17) took an early 2-0 lead on a home run in the third inning, and added one more run in the fifth inning.
The Cardinals (9-28) battled back in the bottom of the fifth by scoring two runs. Junior catcher Felixia Hinojosa started the inning off with a single through the right side. Freshman Piper Hankins would pinch-run for Hinojosa. Hankins scored all the way from first base on an RBI double to the left-center power alley from junior designated player Hannah Kinkade. Junior infielder Olivia Taylor pushed Kinkade to third base with a single to centerfield. Freshman Sydnee Norton would pick up an RBI on a ground ball to third base, allowing Kinkade to score.
McNeese would provide an answer with a run in the sixth, before adding two insurance runs in the seventh.
Senior pitcher Aaliyah Ruiz struck out eight batters, moving her career total up to 228 strikeouts. Ruiz now passes Shannon Millman for third on the LU softball all-time list. Ruiz enters Saturday 41 strikeouts shy of Ciara Luna in second place and 47 strikeouts from the all-time record of 275 held by Laura Napoli.
LU and McNeese now cross the Sabine River, taking the rivalry series to Joe Miller Field at Cowgirl Stadium for a doubleheader. First pitch of game one in Lake Charles, La. is set for 1 p.m.