Bears Survive, Advance in Southland Tournament

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HAMMOND, La. – The Central Arkansas softball team was back at North Oak Park for an elimination game against Southeastern Louisiana on Friday. Jaylee Engelkes and Mary Kate Brown came up big for the Bears as Engelkes homered and Brown drove in the other run. UCA improved to 35-18 on the year, while SLU fell to 28-23, with the Bears’ 2-1 victory.
 
The game was a pitcher’s duel for the first three innings as neither pitcher allowed more than one base runner in an inning.
 
In the bottom of the fourth, the Lady Lions managed to get two runners on. With two outs, Emily Sampson made a pick-off attempt to second. After a rundown had both runners on second, the Bears tagged a runner for an out and when the other runner stepped off of the bag, she was tagged out to end the inning on a double play.
 
In the top of the sixth, the Bears got two runners on, but were unable to capitalize.
 
After a three up, three down bottom of the sixth, Engelkes led off the top of the seventh with a solo blast over the right field wall. Tremere Harris notched a two-out single on a perfect bunt. Jenna Wildeman reached safely on a fielding error by the shortstop. Brown followed with an RBI single through the left side, which allowed Harris to score from second.
 
The Lady Lions got one run back in the bottom of the seventh on a solo home run by Lexi Johnson. Beaver regained her composure and closed out the victory in the circle for the Bears.
 
Beaver improved to 19-6 in the circle with her 18th complete game. She tallied seven strikeouts and gave up just one run on four hits.
 
At the plate, Kaylyn Shepherd led the team with a 2-for-4 game. Engelkes and Brown provided the RBIs for the Bears. Harris, Kristen Whitehouse, and Cylla Hill each added hits.
 
Heather Zumo got the loss and fell to 16-7 on the season. She struck out four batters and allowed two runs, one earned, on seven hits. Johnson led the Lady Lions with a 1-for-1 day, which was a solo home run.
 
UCA returns to North Oak Park for an elimination game against the winner of the Northwestern State and Sam Houston game at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
 
From the Coach – Head Coach David Kuhn
“What a great game! It was a well-played game by both teams. Both pitchers threw well for both ball clubs. Kayla Beaver really had an outstanding pitching performance. We had some timely hitting there in the seventh inning by Jaylee Engelkes, Tremere Harris, Jenna Wildeman, and Mary Kate Brown. Wow! That was exciting, we survived and advanced.”
 
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