Rutherford’s three hits not enough as LSUA swept in double header

TEXARKANA, Texas—Ryleigh Rutherford collected three hits in the second game of the double header, but the LSUA softball team was swept in the final two games of the Red River Athletic Conference series to Texas A&M-Texarkana on Saturday at Bramlett Field.

The Generals fell 6-0 in the opener and 4-3 in a nine inning contests in the nightcap.

In the second game, Rutherford had three of LSUA’s eight hits and drove in two runs, but TAMUT scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie and one more in the ninth to come out on top.

Eryn Sanchez continued her strong pitching with five shutout innings before running into trouble and allowing three in the sixth. In the first five innings, she allowed just two hits.

Dorrie Cormier was flawless in game one for the Eagles, throwing a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits and striking out four. Cassidy Lee drove in two runs, recording a game-high three hits.

LSUA’s four hits came by four different players and the Generals never had more than one hit in an inning and never had more than four players bat in any inning.

LSUA (8-8 overall, 3-2 RRAC) drops its first two games in league play after winning the first three. LSA returns home on Tuesday for a home game.

TAMUT (10-4, 5-1) bounced back from its first conference loss to sweep the double header and continue its hot streak, winning 10 of 11 contests. The Eagles re-take the conference lead away from LSUA.

Game 1: TAMUT 6, LSUA 0 

Cormier was the difference in the game. LSUA could not muster anything, and when the Generals did record a hit, they couldn’t string together multiple hits in an inning.

Katherine Atkins stared the game in promising fashion for the Generals with a single to first, but Cormier struck out two of the next three batters and forced a pop-up by the other batter to strand Atkins.

The first two batters for TAMUT reached base, as Lee singled and Katelyn Slamer walked. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, which set up an Erika Richardson two-run single to right field to put the Eagles in front 2-0.

That was all the offense Cormier needed, as she retired 10 of the next 11 batters she faced.

She received more run support in the fourth, when TAMUT scored four more times to put the game out of reach. Three of the first four batters in the inning reached and Laura Dyer connected on a two-run double to right-center field to give the Eagles a 4-0 lead. The final two runs scored on a Lee double, bring home Alicia Mora and Dyer.

Lauryn McMahon tried to start a rally in the ninth with a one-out double, but Cormier rallied with a fly out and pop out to preserve the shutout.

Hannah Whiteside had a solid outing in relief of Rutherford, who started the game. She didn’t allow a run on four hits in 2.2 innings, both walking and striking out one.

In addition to Atkins and McMahon, Miyah Portalis and Bobbi McNaughton registered the other two hits for the Generals.

Game 2: TAMUT 4, LSUA 3 (9) 

In LSUA’s first extra inning contest of the season, the Eagles scored three in the bottom of the sixth and one in the bottom of the ninth to prevail, coming back from a 3-0 hole.

After two innings of threatening to score first, the Generals put the first tally on the board in the third inning. Hughes hit a one-out double to right-center and Sanchez traded places with her on a double to right field to give LSUA a 1-0 lead.

It would remain that way until the sixth. With runners on second and third, Rutherford came up with the biggest play of the game to that point. Rutherford singled to left field, bringing home Portalis and pinch runner Jocelyn Marceaux, to increase the advantage to 3-0.

It looked like it would be enough, as Sanchez had retired seven in a row and 13 of the last 14, but TAMUT put together a two-out rally to tie the game.

With a runner on second and two outs, the Eagles recorded three straight hits, the last of which was a two-run single by Jade Martin to tie the score.

LSUA had a chance in the seventh after a leadoff double by Amber Giddens, but TAMUT pitcher Anna Westberry retired the next three in order to preserve the tie.

In the deciding ninth, the first two batters for the Eagles reached on a hit and a hit by pitch. Rutherford was able to strike out Mora, but the next batter Dyer singled to left-center, scoring Jordyn Logan to earn the sweep.

Hughes had two hits to go along with Rutherford’s three. Three TAMUT players multiple hits, including Dyer, who had the game-winner.

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CUTLINE: Ryleigh Rutherford had three hits, driving in a few as well, but LSUA was swept in a double header on Saturday at Texas A&M-Texarkana.