HAMMOND — Tara McKenney’s seventh-inning bunt and a throwing error by McNeese State freshman Dakota Matiko allowed the No. 2 seed Lady Demons to defeat the No. 1 seed Cowgirls 3-2 in the Southland Conference tournament at North Oak Park.
With the win, the Lady Demons advance to the championship round Sunday at 8 a.m.
Northwestern State (29-20) advanced to the championship game for the second consecutive year and will be looking to claim its fifth tournament title overall.
McNeese State (40-16) defeated Stephen F. Austin 9-0 in Saturday’s late semifinal to make the championship game.
Stephen F. Austin defeated Sam Houston 8-6 thanks to a three-run seventh inning to advance to face the Cowgirls.
Northwestern State’s Cali Burke had a two-RBI double to give the Lady Demons a 2-0 lead in the third.
McNeese State tied the game in the top of the fourth as Lauren Langer and Katie Roux scored on a passed ball.
Kaylee Guidry pitched a complete game for the Lady Demons to improve to 11-3 on the year. Guidry struck out four and gave up two runs on three hits.
Rachel Smith fell to 8-5 in the complete-game effort after giving up three runs on five hits while striking out five.
In a pair of elimination games earlier, Sam Houston State defeated Houston Baptist 6-1, and Stephen F. Austin shut out Central Arkansas 5-0.
GEORGIA 5, KENTUCKY 2: In Columbia, S.C., Georgia won its first Southeastern Conference tournament title.
Chelsea Wilkinson carried (29-7) a one-hitter into the seventh inning and allowed two runs on three hits while striking out nine batters in a complete-game performance. Meagan Prince (8-4) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks in 3.2 innings.
Geri Ann Glasco went 3-for-4 with a home run, a run scored and two RBIs for Georgia. Paige Wilson had two RBIs while going 1-for-4 as Georgia led 5-0 after six innings.
Kentucky avoided the shutout in the top of the seventh as Nikki Sagermann and Emily Gaines hit back-to-back home runs that made it a 5-2 game.
Region 23 tournament
LSU-EUNICE 6, JONES COUNTY JC 1: In Ellisville, Miss., LSU-Eunice captured its fourth consecutive Region 23 championship with a rain-shortened, four-inning victory over Jones County.
LSU Eunice will advance to play in next week’s NJCAA National Championship tournament next week.
The No. 1-ranked Lady Bengals (58-2) scored in three of the four innings.
Taylor Boulet and Brooklynn Clark each finished with two hits and an RBI, while Ashley Subervielle also collected two hits. Emily Nolan’s lone hit was a two-run homer, while Destin Vicknair (RBI) and Codi Covington each tallied a hit as well.
Vicknair earned her 26th victory of the season, allowing four hits, one run and two walks while striking out five strikeouts in the four innings.