Sam Houston State Claims 2019 Southland Tournament Championship

first_imgTournament Central | Box Score | Bracket | PhotosNATCHITOCHES, La. – Sam Houston State completed a conference trophy sweep adding the 2019 Southland Tournament championship to its regular-season title with a 2-1 win over Nicholls Friday afternoon on Lady Demon Diamond in Natchitoches, La. Brooke Malia once again provided the heroics for the Bearkats with a two-run go-ahead homer in the bottom of the sixth inning. Malia also provided a walk-off home run in a 2-0 win over the Colonels in the semifinal matchup Thursday afternoon. The Bearkats completed the tournament with a flawless 3-0 record, outscoring opponents 11-1 on the way to their third-ever Southland Tournament championship and their first since the 2007 season.After a leadoff flyout gave Sam Houston State a quick out, Tiffany Thompson took a 1-2 count and generated a single to left field for the Bearkats’ first hit of the game. Megan Landry started the game in the circle for the Colonels, retiring two of Sam Houston State’s first three batters on popup plays. SHSU then tried to place a runner on second, but Nicholls catcher Kali Clement shut down the effort, picking off Thompson at second on the attempted stolen base to close out the first inning.Landry and Sam Houston State ace Lindsey McLeod dueled from inside the circle over the four innings, giving up three hits apiece but keeping the game knotted at 0-0. Neither team was able to hit for anything more than a single over the four-inning stretch.Nicholls struck first in the top of the sixth with a leadoff home run to right field from Amanda Gianelloni. Prior to the solo home run, Gianelloni had not recorded a hit in the Colonels’ four games at the 2019 Southland Tournament. The Nicholls senior cleared the right field fence on a 2-1 count to give the Colonels their only lead of the tournament over the Bearkats. McLeod subsequently forced back-to-back popout plays before fanning Samantha Dares to take the game into the bottom of the inning.SB: Amanda Gianelloni with a solo ?? to put @Nicholls_SB up 1-0 over @BearkatsSB in the top of the sixth. #SouthlandStrong?? @ESPNU ?? @espn apps ??— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) May 10, 2019 Bailey White Sam Houston State C Burleson, Texas Nicholls’ Caitlin Garcia registered a leadoff single up the middle to provide the Colonels with some life in the seventh. However, McLeod cemented the Bearkats’ title run, retiring the next three batters while recording her ninth strikeout of the game.SB: That championship feeling! @BearkatsSB celebrates 2-1 win over Nicholls, claims automatic bid to @NCAAsoftball tournament. Watch @ESPNU replay w/ Lyn Rollins and @vidalestori on the call. ?? ?? @ESPN apps#EatEmUpKats #SouthlandStrong— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) May 11, 2019 Cayla Jones Northwestern State 2B Missouri City, Texas Margarita Corona Stephen F. Austin 1B Tucson, Ariz. All-Tournament Team Sam Houston State marked a quick out in the bottom of the sixth inning with a groundout from Megan McDonald. Tiffany Thompson stepped up to the plate for her third at-bat of the game, having singled on each of her previous two plate appearances. On the very first pitch, Thompson sailed a shot to left field, clearing the fence and tying the game at 1-1. Not to be upstaged, Malia entered the batter’s box and immediately took a 1-0 count. On the next pitch, Malia sent a home run of her own over left-center field, putting the Bearkats up 2-1. Landry retired the next two Bearkats to escape the inning.SB: Malia hit a walk-off shot in the semifinal, now a go-ahead HR in the championship. 2-1 @BearkatsSB over @Nicholls_SB, bottom 6th in #SouthlandStrong title tilt. ?? @ESPNU ?? @espn apps ??— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) May 10, 2019 Brooke Malia Sam Houston State 2B Houston, Texas Tiffany Thompson Sam Houston State SS Montgomery, Texas Lindsey McLeod (MVP) Sam Houston State P Austin, Texas Kali Clement Nicholls C Thibodaux, La. Caitlin Garcia Nicholls 3B Spring, Texas Megan Landry Nicholls P Pierre Part, La. Kassidy Wilbur Stephen F. Austin P Bridge City, Texas Kasey Frederick Nicholls OF Bridge City, Texas Justyce McClain McNeese OF Phoenix, Ariz. The win improves Sam Houston State to a 34-22 overall record and earns the Bearkats an automatic qualifying bid the 2019 NCAA Championship. SHSU will be making their second-ever appearance at the NCAA tournament and their first since the 2007 season.last_img read more