Women’s golf wins SLC championship

Lamar University women’s golf team

Led by medalist Wenny Chang, the Lamar University women’s golf team won an unprecedented fourth straight Southland Conference championship on April 13.

The Cardinals led from wire-to-wire, finishing eight strokes ahead of runner-up Central Arkansas with with a score of 898 at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club in McKinney.

Chang, a junior, finished first with a 2-under 214, beating Fernanda Lira of Central Arkansas by seven strokes. It was her first SLC championship and the fourth for a Lamar player (first since 2011).

Chang is seeking to become the Southland Conference Golfer of the Year for the second straight season after earning Freshman of the Year honors in 2014.

“Wenny is just so steady,” First-year coach Jessica Steward said. “Her emotional balance helps. She never loses her composure.”

LU senior Taylor Stockton became the first women’s golfer in SLC history to be a member of four championship squads. Stockton finished third overall at 7-over 223.

The Cardinals clinched an automatic berth into the NCAA Women’s Golf Regionals scheduled for May 5-7 in four different locations. LU will learn where it is headed later this month.

Baseball

Senior ace Will Hibbs had a spectacular outing on the hill April 15 against league and cross-border rival McNeese State, and for it he was named as one of the Louisville Slugger Pitchers of the Week, announced the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

Hibbs (7-1) was dominant for the second straight week with eight innings of work. He struck out 14 hitters, allowing just five hits and one walk. Hibbs has allowed just one run in the last 18 innings, a solo home run in the eighth inning Friday, April 15.

“Will had a phenomenal game, and he was in control the whole way,” said head coach Jim Gilligan after the win. “He pitched the eighth inning for me so we could take it easy on our bullpen. You can put that homer on my ERA.”

The Cards, however, dropped two of three to McNeese State to fall to 26-10 overall and 11-4 in conference and are no longer ranked in the Top 25.

Softball

Sophomore right-hander Amie Cisneros was named the Southland Conference Softball Pitcher of the Week.

Cisneros received the honor after a stellar week for the Cardinals, going 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two appearances as she extended her personal scoreless streak to a career-best 14 1/3 innings. Cisneros started the week with 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in a 4-0 loss to Texas State on April 13. Her performance earned her a start in LU’s conference series against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Cisneros made the most of her opportunity, allowing four hits and no runs over six innings as she improved to 3-1 on the season in LU’s 5-0 victory.

“I am so thrilled for Amie; she really deserved the honor,” LU coach Holly Bruder said. “She is pitching with so much confidence right now.”

Cisneros is the second LU pitcher to be honored this season, joining Laura Napoli, who received the award on March 28.

LU (27-15, 14-4) enters the week in second place in the conference, one game behind league-leading McNeese State with nine conference games remaining.

The Lady Cards will play at Central Arkansas (31-15, 12-6) for a three-game conference series this weekend with one game Friday, April 22, at 6 p.m. followed by a double header on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Lamar will play at Texas Southern on Tuesday, April 26, at 5 p.m. and return home on Wednesday, April 27, to host UTA at 2 p.m.

Football

The LU offense put up 25 points to beat the defense, 25-23, on April 16 in the 2016 Crawfish Bowl at Provost Umphrey Stadium. The annual scrimmage signals the end of spring camp every season.

“I didn’t like our intensity early, but I thought we picked it up as the scrimmage went along,” said head coach Ray Woodard. “I challenged them at halftime, and I like how our guys brought it to the field in the second half. It was good to see some of our younger players come on.”

Lamar’s quarterbacks finished the game 14-of-36 (.389) for 97 yards and the one touchdown, but did throw two interceptions, and had another pass broken up in the end zone. One of the team’s two interceptions was in the red zone, which marks the third consecutive scrimmage that LU has had a pass intercepted inside its opponent’s 20.

Senior Carson Earp was named the team’s starting quarterback.

Xavier Bethany led the Cardinals defense, finishing the day with a team-high six tackles, including five solo stops. Kevin O’Neill continued doing what he has done all spring as he posted five tackles, including two for losses, and a quarterback hurry. Rising senior Brendan Langley added three tackles and broke up two passes, while Matt Johnson had four stops.

The LU ground attack had another strong outing without the services of 2015 All-American Kade Harrington. The Cardinals carried the ball 43 times for 223 yards and a score, but most of the damage came in the second half. Emmitt Raleigh led the team with 22 totes for 54 years.

Men’s hoops

Assistant men’s basketball coach Anthony Anderson has resigned to pursue other career opportunities, announced head coach Tic Price. Anderson was hired shortly after Price was named LU’s full-time head coach prior to the 2014-15 season.

“We certainly will miss Coach Anderson,” said Price. “But we want to thank him for his effort and loyalty to the basketball program. We wish him and his family well in all his future endeavors.”

Men’s tennis

The Cards have now sets its sights on a berth in the NCAA Championships after wrapping up the Southland Conference regular-season title with a 4-0 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Southland Conference Championship tournament will begin with the semifinal round Saturday, April 23, in Nacogdoches.

LU (15-5, 5-0) enters the tournament riding a wave of momentum laying claim to their first Southland regular-season title since 1976 season. The league’s hottest team, the Cardinals have won seven-straight matches and have not suffered defeat since a 4-2 setback at Nebraska last month.

LU will play No. 4 seed Nicholls State (3-13, 1-4) on Saturday at 10 a.m. With a win the Cards would advance to the SLC Championship against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi or New Orleans on Sunday at 11 a.m.

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