The word coming into Friday's doubleheader between San Jacinto's Lady Coyotes and the Angelina College Lady Roadrunners was that San Jac boasted a couple of big-time pitchers to go with a solid defensive team.
The talk proved true, with the Coyotes sweeping AC 5-0 and 4-2 at Roadrunner Complex in Lufkin.
San Jac's Shannon Millman frustrated AC hitters in the opener, tossing a three-hit, complete-game shutout in the opener, and making a late-inning entrance to save the nightcap in the Coyotes' 4-2 win to complete the sweep.
The freshman lefty struck out five Lady Roadrunners in the first game, allowing just one runner to advance as far as third base. Keeping AC hitters off-balance with a steady diet of pitches on the outside part of the plate, Millman did not allow a run in her seven innings.
Millman aided her own cause with a solo homer in the third inning – her first of the season – and the Coyotes took advantage of a couple of Lady ‘Runner miscues in the seventh inning to take the opening-game win.
The nightcap proved just as frustrating for the Lady Roadrunners, with AC stranding a total of 11 runners – including a bases-loaded situation in the sixth while trailing 4-2. San Jac starter Alexis Estrada – another freshman – struck out five and allowed five hits in four innings of work, giving way to reliever Katie Vogt, who gave up AC's first run on a Kristin Curlin double followed by a Coyote error. Vogt started the sixth inning, but after Lady ‘Runner Brittani Stone ripped a two-out double, Kayla Bryan drove in a run with single to cut the San Jac lead to two runs. Lauren Davis followed with a single and Curlin with a walk to fill the sacks. Millman entered to pitch to AC's Taylor Sells, the team leader in RBI and slugging percentage, and Sells ripped a ball into short right field, appearing momentarily to have tied the game.
But San Jac second baseman Jaclyn Bechtle made a spectacular, over-the-shoulder running catch in short right field to end the inning and the threat. Millman then retired AC in order in the bottom of the seventh to lift San Jacinto to the sweep.
The Lady Roadrunners (20-16, 4-2) will host Alvin College today in a doubleheader scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.