HAMMOND – A bases loaded error by UT Arlington pitcher Teri Lyles in the bottom of the 12th inning allowed Southeastern Louisiana junior right fielder Katie Doyle to score the winning run and give the Lady Lions a 4-3 extra-inning win in Southland Conference action Friday night at North Oak Park.
Southeastern (14-34, 4-15 Southland) won its third straight game, thanks in large part to the efforts of junior pitcher Kenna Terry (5-15). In perhaps the finest effort of her Lady Lion career, the Baytown, Texas native pitched the entire 12 innings, holding UTA (16-25, 5-14 Southland) to five hits and allowing just one earned run, out-dueling Lyles (7-12), who pitched 11.1 innings and held the Lady Lions to six hits.
The game was the longest for Southeastern in over eight years. The Lady Lions picked up a 12-inning 1-0 win over Nicholls State on March 3, 2004.
"This was a great college softball game," Southeastern head coach Pete Langlois said. "All year, these close games have gone against us, but tonight we were able to scratch out the runs when we needed them. If we could've won one of these games like this earlier in the season, I think our year would've gone a lot differently."
The Lady Lion skipper was also proud to see Terry, who has seen her fair share of close losses in 2012, come out on the winning end.
"Kenna was lights out for us tonight and she deserved this win," Langlois said. "We've seen her take a lot of close losses this season and we're glad to be able to see her get this well-earned victory. Her record is not all indicative of how well she's pitched this season and we're really proud of her."
Neither team was able to manage a base runner until the bottom of the third inning. Junior first baseman Ariell Van Hook led off the inning with a line drive double to centerfield. Later in the inning, senior left fielder Trish Bliss singled home Van Hook to give Southeastern a 1-0 lead.
Terry sat down the first nine UTA batters she faced, before Courtney Zink singled to lead off the top of the fourth inning. After stealing second, Zink scored one out later on an RBI single by Hillary Steed to knot the score.
From there, both teams squandered great scoring opportunities. In the top of the fifth, Stephanie Gonzalez led off the frame with a bunt single, stole second and was bunted over to third by Kelsey Kaiser to put the go-ahead run at third with one out. Terry bore down and retired Courtney Enocksen and Kallan Thompson to keep the score tied.
Southeastern put Bliss at third with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, as she was hit to lead off the inning, then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore second baseman Megan McCollum and an error by Steed. Lyles left her stranded by retiring senior catcher Meghan Gomez and sophomore shortstop Kayla Elswick to keep the score deadlocked.
UTA mounted the next threat in the top of the eighth inning, as Enocksen led off the inning with a single. Kari Karr came in to run for Enocksen, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. Terry again came up big, retiring Zink and Lyles to keep the game tied.
Southeastern had a chance to win it in the bottom of the night inning. McCollum led off the inning with her team-high 10th double of the season and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Gomez. Elswick then hit a routine grounder to short, but McCollum got caught too far off the bag and was picked off at third. Taylor Zink then made a great diving catch on a Doyle foul ball to end the inning.
The international tie breaker rule went into effect in the 10th inning. However, neither team could take advantage of the runner placed on second and both were held scoreless.
In the 11th inning, UTA took its first lead of the game. Enocksen was placed on second, was bunted over to third by Thompson and scored on a sacrifice fly by Office to give the Mavericks a 2-1 lead heading to the bottom of the 11th.
Southeastern answered in its half of the 11th inning. Junior designated player Kelsey Nichols was placed on second to start the inning and scored on an RBI single by junior centerfielder Michelle Duhe to send the game to the 12th inning.
Lyles was placed on second to start the 12th. The UTA pitcher moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Sneed and scored on a sacrifice fly by Erica LeFlore to give the Mavericks a 3-2 lead.
Elswick started the Southeastern 12th on second and moved on third on an illegal pitch by Lyles. Lyles then walked Doyle, who moved over to second on a groundout by Van Hook, putting the winning run in scoring position with one out. Lyles then walked sophomore pinch hitter Jessie Browne to load the bases.
Nichols came up next for the Lady Lions and hit a sharp single to left field to plate Elswick with the tying run. Duhe then hit a comebacker that Lyles booted, allowing Doyle to run in for the winning score.
Southeastern will look to close out the season on a four-game winning streak, as it meets the Mavericks on Saturday at 12 p.m. Prior to the game, Bliss, Gomez, Katie Matthews, Lauren Coniglio and Vicki Honeycutt will be honored in a senior day ceremony, which starts at approximately 11:45 a.m. Live stats for Saturday's season finale will be available at www.LionSports.net and fans can follow the action via Twitter at www.twitter.com/sluathletics.
Information provided by SLU Athletics