Kuhn collects 500th victory at Houston Baptist

After a two-game loss against Houston Baptist University March 19, the Bears softball team managed a victory in the third game of the series March 20.
During the game at Houston, the Bears (21-11, 5-4) defeated the Huskies 11-5, avoiding a sweep for Houston Baptist.
Coach David Kuhn received his 500th career victory following the win, making it his 132nd while at UCA. Prior to coaching the Bears, Kuhn picked up his first 368 career wins during his 10 years at Delta State.
Kuhn said the milestone is representative of his surroundings in his time with the Bears.
“It is a nice accomplishment, but it’s all because of coaching some great women and being surrounded by good coaches and an outstanding support staff,” Kuhn said.
In the first two games of the series March 19, the Huskies won 5-1 in the first game and 13-3 in second.
The Bears had an early lead in the first game when freshman right fielder Sam Forrest hit her second home run of the season over the right field fence.
Senior second baseman Melissa Bryant, Forrest and senior left fielder Stephanie Lasley were the only Bears to record a hit in the first game. Bryant went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.
The Huskies scored in every inning during the second game March 19, ending with a score of 13-3. Houston Baptist had an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, adding six runs in the second, five in the third and one in the fourth.
The Bears had six hits in the game from five batters. Senior catcher Melanie Bryant was the only Central Arkansas player to collect multiple hits, going 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI.
Bryant said the team could have done better on defense during the three games against Houston Baptist.
“We had players injured and people weren’t in normal positions,” she said.
Sophomore pitcher Cicely New started for the Bears, taking the loss on the back of a four-hit, five-run ball.
New provided one walk and struck out one Huskie. Sophomore pitcher Ciara Clampitt gave up six runs on four hits and three walks.
On March 20, the Bears collected 10 hits between eight players. Bryant was 2-for-3 with a walk, scoring three runs and driving three more. She was hit by a pitch, hit her 10th double of the season and collected her second home run.
The Bears had an early 2-0 lead, resulting from a passed ball and a throwing error from the Huskies, but Houston Baptist had four runs in the bottom of the frame with a 4-2 lead.
Senior pitcher Kelsie Armstrong picked up her 17th complete game of the year following the 11-5 win against the Huskies, having five runs on nine hits and a walk in seven innings.
Central Arkansas lost against the Sam Houston State University Bearkats last week in two games March 16 and 17. On March 16, the Bears won 5-3 against Sam Houston in the first game but lost to the Bearkats 9-8 in the second game. The Bears lost again to Sam Houston 10-0 March 17 in Huntsville, Texas at the final game of the series.
After going 1-2 against the Huskies, Kuhn said he felt his team hadn’t played to its full potential.
“I felt like we are a better team than we showed at Houston Baptist,” Kuhn said. “We will continue to work on the fundamentals and get better every day.”
The Bears will host the University of Tulsa at 5 p.m. March 27. The team will play at home against Southland Conference opponent, the McNeese State University Cowgirls, in a double-header March 29 and will conclude the series March 30.
Melanie Bryant said going against the number one Southland Conference team will be challenging, but she is confident the team will win.

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