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Lady Cards defeat Peay, 3-0

Savana Mata, freshman infielder
Savana Mata, freshman infielder, is marked safe after stealing a base during Lamar's 3-0 victory agains Austin Peavy, Feb, 24, at the LU softball complex.

The Lamar Cardinal softball team finished up the Cardinal Classic, Sunday, at the LU Softball Complex, winning the second game of a doubleheader. The team lost 9-0 to UTSA in the first game of the day, but came back to win the second game, 3-0, against the Governors of Austin Peay.

It was a dominant performance in the circle from freshman pitcher, Aaliyah Ruiz, who threw for five complete innings, allowing only three hits, throwing 55 strikes out of 87 total pitches, and striking out four of the opposing batters.

“We talked about going out and competing in the second game of the day, and Aaliyah set the tone early for us,” first-year head coach Amy Hooks said. “She’s a newcomer here, so to have that early in the season is big for us, and it gives our team a lot of confidence.”

The Cardinals started out strong defensively knocking out the first three batters of the game. The team’s offense delivered in the first inning following a single from Shannon Klaus, junior outfielder. Klaus made her presence felt on the diamond by stealing two bases in the first inning, adding to her early season total of 12 stolen bases overall. The Cardinals took the lead on an RBI single from senior infielder Maddy Myers.

The defensive dominance continued through the second and third innings, as Ruiz struck out three, and managed to get the team out of a tense situation with Austin Peay runners on first and third base in the second.

The bottom of the third inning led to another Cardinal score after Klaus reached base, followed by freshman infielder Shaina Amir’s single to right field. Amir advanced to second and third base following wild throws from the Governors outfield, with Klaus scoring. The sequence led to the Cardinals taking a 2-0 lead after the third inning.

The Cardinals defense remained consistent throughout the top of the fourth inning, thanks to the fourth and final strikeout from Ruiz. The bottom of the fourth inning started strong for the offense, getting their first two batters on base. Following this, Austin Peay made a pitching change, pulling senior Kelly Mardones, for junior Kelsey Gross. Following the pitching change, and with the bases loaded following a walk, Gross walked Myers, allowing senior infielder Kelly Meeuwsen to complete the scoring.

The team’s defensive play remained consistent throughout the rest of the game. Ruiz was pulled after the fifth inning, ending her dominant performance. Junior Erin Kyle took over for the rest of the game, and managed to lock the win down for the Lady Cardinals.

After a slow start to the season, the team has now won six of their seven games, for an 8-9 record, 5-1 at home.

“We don’t really look at the records, and the wins and losses,” Hooks said. “I know a lot of people read into it, but we just want to compete every day. We want to go out there and get better from game to game, and that’s what the preseason is about.

“I’m really proud of their performance, and bouncing back from a tough loss is really gutsy.”

The Lady Cardinals return to action, Friday, at the Texas A&M Invite in College Station

Category: Sports