Lamar sports informationBEAUMONT – The Lamar Cardinals welcome the Houston Cougars to the LU Softball Complex for a doubleheader at 4 p.m. today in LU’s last non-conference home date this season. Both games will be streamed on Facebook Live, with Harold Mann providing the play-by-play.The Cardinals (22-18) took two of three at Sam Houston State over the weekend in Southland Conference action, while Houston (24-14) dropped two of three at South Florida in American Athletic Conference play. Senior right-hander Laura Napoli (10-9, 3.11) and freshman righty Taylor Gruell (7-6, 3.91) are LU’s probable starters. Gruell is looking for her first win since March 23.“We need Taylor to get on track,” Bruder said. “We definitely need her down the stretch for conference.”Napoli picked up her 49th career win in Friday’s opener at Sam Houston State. She looks to become the first pitcher in program history to collect 50 career wins.PROMOTIONS “Houston has traditionally been a strong opponent, and this might be one of the best Houston teams we have faced,” LU coach Holly Bruder said. “I love that they are willing to come here. We love to be challenged by good teams. These are the games that make us better.”The Cougars are batting .291 as a team. Arielle James leads Houston with a .403 batting average, while Sarah Queen is batting .364 to go along with team-leading figures of six home runs and 25 RBIs. The Houston pitching staff, which is 16th in the nation with a 1.78 ERA, is led by junior right-hander Savannah Heebner (16-5, 0.98).LU shortstop Savana Guidry is batting .346 for the Cardinals, who have a .274 team batting average. Guidry had her 13-game hitting streak, the third longest in program history, snapped at Sam Houston State on Saturday. Kelly Meeuwsen is batting. 341, while leading the team with seven home runs. Meeuwsen’s 26 RBIs are second on the team, one behind Shelby Henderson’s 27. Meeuwsen enters the week with 98 career RBIs, second all-time at LU, behind only Ashley McDowell’s 107. Today is LU’s annual Mean Girls Game, with various contests based upon the movie throughout the game. In addition, fans will receive free pizza and a free pink cowbell while supplies last.FORECASTThe doubleheader is expected to start under a sunny sky, with a temperature of 79 degrees and the wind out of the southeast at 9 mph. By the time the twin bill ends, the temperature will be in the 60s.ON DECKLU travels to Central Arkansas for a three-game Southland Conference series. The teams will play a doubleheader at 5 p.m. Friday and a single game at 1 p.m. Saturday. It’s a crucial series for the Cardinals, who are in seventh place in the conference with an 8-7 record. Central Arkansas is one of three teams tied for fourth place in the conference with 9-6 records. LU returns home to host McNeese in a three-game SLC series set for April 20-21.
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