After a split of two games on Saturday, the ULM softball team claimed the championship at the Bulldog Round-Robin in Starkville, Miss. Heather Fritz pitched a complete game to defeat Kennesaw State 6-2 in the opener, but host-Mississippi State took the late game from the Warhawks 5-3.
ULM was declared the champion due to travel concerns for the other teams not allowing the games to not be played as originally scheduled. The Warhawks were originally supposed to meet Kennesaw State in the championship game, but will now play Mississippi State again on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The ULM (2-1) offense started out hot as the Warhawks tallied three runs in the top of the first inning against Kennesaw State (2-1). Brianna Love led off the game with a walk, then stole second, and later scored on an error.
ULM would get another run off an error before Molly McNeill grounded into a fielder's choice that gave the Warhawks their third run. The Owls chipped away at the lead in the bottom half of the first on an RBI-double from Amanda Burns.
KSU would add another run in the third to make it a one-run game at 3-2. The score remained the same until the Warhawks tacked on some insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning starting with a Michelle Farrell-Fink RBI-single. Two more runs came in and Fritz held the Owls scoreless in the bottom of the frame to secure the 6-2 victory.
"I thought Fritz had a solid effort in her complete game," head coach Rosemary Holloway-Hill said. "She stayed with it all the way."
After nearly tossing a perfect game in the season opener, Kandace Causey was once again in the circle for ULM's second contest of the day against tournament-host Mississippi State.
Megan Miller moved into sole possession of eighth place on the all-time ULM RBI list when she drove in Love in the top of the first inning to give the Warhawks an early 1-0 lead.
Causey ran into some trouble in the second inning and, after walking the bases loaded, gave up the go-ahead home run. MSU (1-1) got one more run in the third inning and led 5-1 until the top of the sixth inning.
ULM loaded the bases with only one out and picked up an RBI-single from Molly McNeill. Erica Darden scoring on an illegal pitch, but the Warhawks' rally would stop short there. ULM couldn't get any closer and dropped a close decision to the Bulldogs 5-3.
"We had a little setback, but we commend our kids for never giving up," Holloway-Hill said. "I thought we were gassed out in the fourth or fifth inning, but we were able to recharge and almost made the comeback."