By: Mike Hammett/ULM Athletics
LAKE CHARLES, La. – The ULM softball team came up short to McNeese State, 3-1, Wednesday evening, Feb. 19, at Joe Miller Field.
“I know the outcome didn’t go our way, but that was the best I’ve seen our team compete for seven innings,” head coach Molly Fichtner said. “A couple of plays here and there that go our way and this becomes a different outcome. We hit the ball on the nose all night.”
The Warhawks (3-7) quickly jumped on the board in the top of the second inning. Senior Jessie Watts singled on a line drive up the middle and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice and freshman Kelsey Giddens advanced to first on an error. Moments later, Watts brought in the first run of the game on a wild pitch and Giddens advanced to third on a throwing error, but she was left on base. ULM took a 1-0 lead.
The Cowgirls (10-2) answered the call in the bottom of the second as Haylee Brinlee hit a home run over the left field wall, her second of the season, to tie the game up at one.
The Warhawks had a chance to take the lead in the top of the third when sophomore Korie Kreps tripled to center field, but she was stranded on third base.
McNeese took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Toni Perrin hit her first home run of the season over the center field wall and pinch runner Jil Poullard scored on a single up the middle by pinch hitter Kristan Deitz to give the Cowgirls a 3-1 lead. ULM couldn’t mount a comeback and McNeese held on for the 3-1 win.
Sophomore Kennedy Page went 2-for-2 at the plate while Watts went 1-for-3 with one run.
Freshman Kassidy Giddens (0-3) got the start for ULM and took her third loss of the season. She pitched five innings and gave up three runs on five hits while striking out three batters and issuing three walks. Sophomore Murphy Williams took over in the bottom of the sixth and pitched one inning and struck out one batter and issued one walk.
“There’s so much that can be said that stats don’t say,” Fichtner said. “Tonight was a prime example of that.”
Caroline Settle (2-0) got the start for McNeese and pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up one run on three hits. She struck out one batter and issued three walks. Whitney Tate (2-0) took over for Settle in the top of the fifth and picks up her second win of the season. She pitched 2 1/3 innings and gave up two hits while striking out four batters.
“Their pitching staff might be one of the best we play all season,” Fichtner said. “We did a great job against them.”
The Warhawks will travel to Youngsville, La., this weekend for the Mardi Gras Mambo tournament that runs Friday, Feb. 20, through Sunday, Feb. 22. ULM will start their five-game weekend against Houston Baptist at 1 p.m. on Friday. Links to live stats can be found on the softball schedule page at ULMWarhawks.com.
Stay up to date with all things Warhawk Softball on Facebook and Twitter at @ULM_Softball.