Photo Courtesy: UCA Athletics (Steve East)
Houston, Texas (UCA) - The Central Arkansas softball team continued its recent struggles in Southland Conference play, dropping a double-header to new SLC member Houston Baptist on Tuesday. The Huskies took the first game of the day 5-1 before routing the Bears 13-3 in the day's second game.
In the first game of the day, Central Arkansas (20-11, 4-4 SLC) jumped out to an early 1-0. Right fielder Sam Forrest led off the game by hitting her second home run of the season over the right field fence.
Houston Baptist (10-10, 4-4 SLC) responded in its own half of the frame though, using a leadoff triple and an RBI ground out to tie the game at 1-1. The Huskies added a run in the fourth and three more in the sixth to make the score 5-1.
Forrest, second baseman Melissa Bryant, and left fielder were the only Bears to record a hit in the game, with Bryant going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.
Kelsie Armstrong (13-7) took the loss for Central Arkansas, throwing six innings and allowing seven hits and three earned runs. She struck out five Huskies. Keely Shuler (4-3) earned the win, working all seven innings. She gave up one run on four hits and struck out two batters.
The second game provided little suspense, as Houston Baptist scored in every inning to take the game 13-3. The Huskies took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first before adding six runs in the second, five in the third, and one in the fourth.
Central Arkansas managed six hits on the game, scattered over five batters. Catcher Melanie Bryant was the only Bear to collect multiple hits, going 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI.
Cicely New (2-2) started in the circle for Central Arkansas, taking the loss on the back of four hit, five run ball. She issued one walk and struck out one Huskie. Ciara Clampitt threw 1.2 innings of relief, giving up six runs on four hits and three walks. Taylor Barclay recorded the final out of the third inning, after allowing two hits and a run. Kelsie Barker threw the final inning for the Bears, allowing a run on two hits. Kendall Steifel (3-2) earned the win for Houston Baptist, throwing five innings and allowing six hits and three runs. She issued one walk and struck out two.
The teams will wrap the series up with a single game scheduled for 1:00 tomorrow afternoon.