ULM Softball Splits With UNT

The ULM softball team began its conference season Saturday afternoon at Lovelace Stadium with a 9-3 win in its Sun Belt Conference opener before dropping the second contest to North Texas in a 4-2 nail-biter.

The Warhawks (7-16, 1-1 Sun Belt) got their bats going early and often in the first game as they pounded out 10 hits and plated a season-high nine runs in the win. Katie Girardi homered for the second time of the season to put the game out of reach in the sixth inning. Kandace Causey (W, 4-7) moved into a tie for ninth on ULM's all-time wins list with the 20th of her career.

North Texas (12-9, 1-1 Sun Belt) grabbed an early lead in the second contest and Ashley Lail (W, 5-2) limited ULM to just two hits. ULM plated two runs in the top of the seventh inning, but it wasn't enough as Lail secured the victory.

Molly McNeill and Michelle Farrell-Fink got the Warhawks on the board early in the first game as each drove in a run in the top of the first inning. McNeill drove in Erica Darden with a single to center field in the third inning to drive North Texas starter Jennifer Smith from the game. ULM led 4-0 after the top of the third inning.

The Mean Green got on the board in the bottom of the third frame on a two-run double by Mariza Martinez, which dropped just over the reach of left fielder Melissa Rivera. Brianna Love responded in the top of the fourth inning with her first long ball of the season to bump the lead back up to three runs at 5-2.

Mallory Cantler homered to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull North Texas one run closer. The Warhawks responded with four runs in the top of the sixth inning highlighted by a 3-run homer from Girardi.

Causey struck out five batters in her eighth complete game of the season as ULM improved to 14-11 under Rosemary Holloway-Hill in conference openers.

The Mean Green plated two runs in the bottom of the second inning in the second game of the doubleheader when Sarah Jones rolled an RBI-single up the middle. North Texas added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning when Mariza Martinez smacked an RBI-single to center field.

The Warhawks loaded the bases in the top of the seventh inning, and scored a run on an RBI-groundout from Girardi. Jessica Olguin would later score on a wild pitch, but it wasn't quite enough as the Mean Green held on for the 4-2 win.

The Warhawks will be back in action tomorrow against North Texas in a noon matchup to wrap up the three-game set.

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