Lady Generals split in first day at Cowtown Classic

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FT WORTH, TX -- The LSUA softball team opened play in the Cowtown Classic and earned a split on the first day of it, defeating the York Panthers to open the day 6-3 before falling to the #4 Columbia Cougars 10-1 at Gateway Park.

Game 1 - LSU Alexandria (La.) 6, York (Neb.) 3

The Generals jumped on the Panthers in the second inning as Sierrah Anderson opened the inning with a single. Karsen Kreps dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Anderson to second, but Anderson noticed no one covering third and took the extra 60 feet. Bailey McCleary brought Anderson home with a sacrifice fly to give the Generals a 1-0 lead. Now with two outs, Alexis Hagan and RyLeigh Rutherford hit back-to-back singles to set up Lauren Rachal, who smashed a ball to the wall in center score them both and make it 3-0 LSUA when the inning ended.

Haylee Tidwell added more runs to the LSUA scoreline in the fourth inning as she found the center field wall as well to plate both Rutherford and Rachal to make it 5-0 Generals. Sierrah Anderson accounted for all of the offense in the fifth inning as she hit the first pitch of the inning to the left field wall, and the Panther defense couldn't get a handle on the ball and Anderson rounded all the bases and came home for an inside the park home run for a 6-0 LSUA lead.

LSUA took the 6-0 lead into the final inning, but the Panthers got a one out rally, scoring all three of their runs with one away before back-to-back infield pop outs ended the game.

Four different Generals had two hits in the win with Haylee Tidwell leading the way, going two of three with two RBI. RyLeigh Rutherford was also two of three and scored twice. Lauren Rachal went two of four with two RBI and a run scored while Sierrah Anderson was also two of four but with one RBI and two runs scored.

McKell Marble (1-0) threw a complete game and gave up ten hits and three runs, all earned, walked one and struck out one.

Game 2 - Columbia (Mo.) 10, LSU Alexandria (La.) 1

In the second game of the day, against #4 Columbia, the Generals jumped out on top first again as LSUA loaded the bases with two away and Sierrah Anderson drew a base on balls to force in Alexis Hagan to make it 1-0 Generals through one inning of play.

But that would be all the offense the Generals would get, allowing the Cougars to take the lead in the second inning with a two-RBI double. With Columbia up 3-1 heading into the fourth inning, the Cougars broke the game open by plating four runs in the frame to take a 7-1 lead. Columbia closed things out with another run in the fifth and two more in the seventh for the win.

RyLeigh Rutherford (1-2) came out of the pen and threw 2.2 innings, giving up four hits, six runs with only five earned, walked three, and struck out one. McKell Marble started the game and gave up just one hit in one inning of work. Hannah Whiteside closed out the final 3.1 innings with three hits and four ones, only one earned, six walks and one strikeout.

The third game of the day, a late evening contest against #1 Oklahoma City, was canceled due to expected freezing temperatures in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

LSUA (3-3) closes out the Cowtown Classic on Saturday as the Generals play two final contests in Fort Worth. The Generals open the day at 2:00 P.M. against the Bethany Swedes. LSUA's final game at the Cowtown Classic immediately follows that contest at 4:00 P.M. against the defending national champion, #2 Science & Arts of Oklahoma Drovers. All games of the Cowtown Classic are played at Fort Worth's Gateway Park.