NATCHITOCHES, La. – The Nicholls State University softball team picked up a 6-2 victory to even the series against Northwestern State, but the Lady Demons used a late three-run home run to take the finale, 6-5, on Saturday at Lady Diamond Field.
With the doubleheader split, Nicholls fell to 30-17 overall and 14-7 in the Southland. Northwestern State improved to 20-27 and 10-11.
Nicholls will play its final home series of the season next weekend, hosting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for a three-game set. Friday night (April 28, 6 p.m.) will be the team’s annual Strike Out Cancer Game, with Saturday’s Senior Day doubleheader scheduled to start at noon.
Game 1 – Nicholls 6, Northwestern State 2
The Colonels scored six runs in the second inning and the pitching staff took care of the rest as Nicholls evened the series against Northwestern State with a 6-2 victory.
Jackie Johnson tossed 4.0 innings for the win, allowing an earned run on two hits, and Megan Landry picked up her fifth save of the season after surrendering just a lone single in 3.0 innings of work.
The offense did all its damage in the second with the help of four walks by NSU starter Katelyn Boles (5-13). The first three walks loaded the bases and Samantha Mracich gave Nicholls an early lead after drawing the fourth. The next batter, Amanda Gianelloni, scorched a base hit by the shortstop to drive in two.
NSU brought Hayley Barbazon into pitch and Kasey Frederick welcomed her with a single up the middle to make the score 4-0. Veronica Villafranco then reached on an error which allowed another run to score, and Brooklyn Devine capped the frame with a RBI infield single.
The Lady Demons got two back in the bottom half on an RBI double by Emma Hawthorne and a groundout. But a two-out single in the sixth would be the only other hit for NSU the rest of the way.
Caitlyn Carroll had the final hit for the Colonels, singling to right in the seventh.
The win for Nicholls was No. 30 for the season, marking the first time since the 2008 and ’09 seasons that the program had back-to-back 30-win campaign.
Game 2 – Northwestern State 6, Nicholls 5
The Lady Demons used a three-run home run in the fifth inning to take the lead and hung on to win the series with a 6-5 victory over the Colonels.
Nicholls used its own three-run shot by Kasey Frederick in the third inning to grab a 3-2 lead and after NSU evened it up in the bottom half, Amanda Gianelloni put the Colonels back on top with a run-scoring base hit to center.
But in the fifth, Micayla Sorosiak hit a home run with two runners on to make the score 6-4 NSU. Nicholls had a chance to tie the game in the sixth after loading the bases with one out, but a sac fly by Frederick led to the only run.
Jackie Johnson (16-10) was tagged with the loss, allowing three earned runs on four hits in 3.0 innings. Megan Landry made the start, also allowing four hits in 3.0 innings. Landry gave up three runs, with one being earned.
Nicholls had 11 hits against Mikayla Brown (13-11), who tossed a complete game for the Lady Demons. Gianelloni led the way by going 3-for-3 and Sydney Bourg and Samantha Mracich had two hits each.
A RBI fielder’s choice and a double by Sorasiak gave NSU an early lead in the first before Frederick’s sixth home run of the season and second of the weekend put Nicholls ahead, 3-2. But the Lady Demons answered right away with a run-scoring single by Brittney Jones.
Gianelloni’s RBI in the fourth was set up by one-out hits by Bourg and Mracich. Gianelloni laced her single to center field and Bourg beat the throw home for a 4-3 advantage.
NSU used the same formula against Johnson in the fifth with three straight hits, but the last was the home run by Sorosiak.
In the seventh, the Colonels were retired in order to drop their second straight series in league play.