GoBearkats.com – The Sam Houston State softball team split a double header on Wednesday night with Prairie View A&M to drop to 1-9 on the season.
The Kats cruised to victory in the opening game of the day, winning 11-0 in five innings.
Kim Damien provided a bulk of the offense, going 3-for-3 with a grand slam and a triple, falling a single short of the cycle. She drove in six runs and scored three. Hillary Adams also went deep for the Kats, as part of a 2-for-2 game. Ashley Isabell drove in a pair of runs and Tori Benavidez picked up and RBI as well.
Jessica Slater had a multi-hit game and scored two runs to help the cause.
Tomi Garrison got the win, allowing just two hits while striking out four. Cecilia Castillo pitched two innings of relief without allowing a hit.
However, in the night cap, the Kats were hurt by a rash of errors, four, in a 7-3 loss. Garrison, who entered the game in relief, took the loss to fall to 1-4 on the season.
Sarah Allison, Erin Burford and Alyssa Coggins all drove in runs for the Kats.
“It was very important to get that first win,” first baseman Kim Damian said. “Things weren’t going our way and we had to make a change in this game to show that we can do this and we can win.”
Damian led the Bearkats’ 11-hit parade by going 3-for-3 with six RBIs in Wednesday’s opening game. The junior from Angleton doubled in the first, tripled in the second and blasted a grand slam to make it 11-0 in the bottom of the third. The home run was Damian’s third this season.
“Kim is a great player,” Bearkats coach Bob Brock said. “She is as good as anybody in the state of Texas. She is everything that everybody wants and we are lucky to have her.”
The Bearkats also got a two-run double from catcher Ashley Isbell in the first inning. Designated Hitter Hilary Adams hit a two-run homer in the second.
Starting pitcher Tomi Garrison was the winning pitcher for Sam Houston. She went three innings, struck out four batters and walked only one.
The second game was a different story as the Panthers capitalized on four SHSU errors and split the doubleheader. Trailing 2-1 through five innings, the Panthers hung six runs on the board in the top of the sixth. Prairie View was helped by two Bearkat errors.
Alyssa Coggins’ two-out RBI double in the bottom of the second gave the Bearkats a 1-0 lead. Third baseman Brittany Gutierrez led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a single by right fielder Erin Burford.
Shontel Lopez led off the top of the third inning with a single and advanced to second on a single by Kelly Scruggs. Both runners advanced to second and third, respectively on a sacrifice bunt by first baseman Sarina Rios.
It looked as if the Panthers were going to score, but a routine ground out and a baserunning error by Scruggs got the Bearkats out of the inning.
The Bearkats scored their second run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Burford that made it 2-0. Gutierrez led off the bottom of the third with a double. Jessica Slater pinch-ran for Gutierrez and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Callie Wood.
The Panthers scored their first run in the top of the fifth on an RBI groundout by shortstop Leanna Flores that cut the lead to 2-1.
The Panthers exploded for six runs in the top of the sixth to make it 7-2.
“We put the ball in play and they didn’t make the plays and it turned around for us,” Panthers head coach Vernon Bland said.
Starting pitcher Cally Falls went the distance and got the win. She gave up three runs on 10 hits and struck out four Bearkat batters.
“Cally did a great job today,” Bland said. “She kept them off-balance. We decided the inning before that we were going to do everything we can to make sure that Cally (Falls) was not going to lose the game,”
Though the Bearkats scored their third run on a sacrifice fly by Sarah Allison in the bottom of the seventh, the deficit was too much for them to overcome.
“They just beat us,” Brock said after his team fell to 1-9 on the season. “We were not focused in the second game and any team can win on any given night if you allow them to.”
Garrison was hit with the loss for the Bearkats. Prairie View scored three runs on two hits and a walk in 1/3 of an inning against Garrison. Starting pitcher Shelby Lancanster went three innings before Brock trotted in four relievers.