Lowell senior catcher Sati Houston remembers well the last time the Cardinals faced off against Academic Athletic Association softball rival Lincoln.
“They pretty much took it to us last game,” Houston said of a 12-7 loss to Lincoln on March 15. “We were looking to get back at them this game and try and get our dignity back.”
In the rematch between the two teams Tuesday, Houston made sure the Cardinals exacted their revenge, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs to help Lowell win a 17-11 slugfest to hand Lincoln its first loss in AAA play.
After three tight innings in which neither teams was able to generate much offense, the Cardinals (13-2 AAA) exploded in the top of the fourth inning, getting seven runs off Lincoln ace Christine Collins to take a commanding 9-1 lead.
Four Cardinals added run-scoring hits in the inning, led by Houston’s RBI triple that drove in Anny Nguyen to make the score 6-1. Houston would score on Rubye Chu’s single on the next play, and Chu would come in later when Anna Dea reached on an error.
Lincoln (18-4, 14-1 AAA) battled back in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring four unearned runs, including two on Krislyn Li’s two-out single that brought the Mustangs within 9-5.
Lowell shook off its three errors in the bottom of the fourth by tacking on three more runs in the top of the fifth. Houston again played a large role in the rally by smoking a two-out double the brought in Alina Werth to give the Cardinals a 12-5 advantage.
“Sometimes a softball looks like a beach ball, other times it looks like a glint in the sun,” Houston said of her performance. “Today, it looked like a four-foot-wide beach ball.”
The game got a little sloppy over the final stages, with errors and walks playing a major part in the combined 11 runs scored over the last inning and a half. But the Cardinals were able to escape with the victory to move within one game of first-place Washington and Lincoln in the AAA standings. Lowell faces Washington on May 1, while Lincoln takes on Washington two days later.
“We’ve worked really hard on situational hitting and it showed today,” said Lowell coach Sascha Ray. “Every time they tried to mount a comeback, we had the answer with our bats.”
Lowell 17, Lincoln 11