THIBODAUX, La. – Pitching was phenomenal for the Nicholls State University softball team in its opening weekend and the trend continued Tuesday in the home opening doubleheader against Jackson State as sophomore Megan Landry threw her second career no-hitter in a 13-0 victory and senior Jackie Johnson followed with a one-hit performance in an 8-0 win as the Colonels swept Jackson State.
Both games last only five innings due to the run-rule as Nicholls cranked out 20 hits on the day to improve its record to 6-1 on the season. With the sweep, Jackson State dipped to 1-5.
GAME 1 – Nicholls 13, Jackson State 0 (5 inn.)
After losing a no-hitter in the seventh in her first start of the season over the weekend, Megan Landry went on to complete the feat against Jackson State, striking out six batters in the Colonels’ second consecutive 13-0 victory.
Landry issued four walks – with two coming in the third – but Jackson State was never able to pose a threat to score. The Colonels, on the other hand, exploded for four runs in the second before putting the run-rule into play with a six-run third.
In the second, the first run came on a double steal. Veronica Villafranco followed with a rocket single to right center to drive in a pair of runs. The final run came on an error before Nicholls left the bases loaded. The fourth was highlighted by a RBI triple from Haley Stevenson, and RBI singles from Brooke Morris, Amanda Gianelloni, and Villafranco.
Villafranco led the offense with a 3-for-3 outing with three RBIs. Samantha Mracich, Brooklyn Devine, and Stevenson all had two hits apiece.
Symone Williams took the loss after allowing six earned on six hits in two innings.
Game 2 – Nicholls 8, Jackson State 0 (5 inn.)
The Colonels scored eight runs in the first three innings and it was more than enough for Jackie Johnson who allowed just one base hit and struck out eight to complete the doubleheader sweep.
Nicholls had eight hits in the win, receiving two from Mracich, Gianelloni, and Devine. Five of the runs were driven in with the other three coming off Jackson State miscues.
Back-to-back singles by Mracich and Morris started things off in the first inning. With Mracich on first, Morris ripped a single to right field and the throw was wild to third, allowing Mracich to score. Kimmie Rodriguez followed a hard single down the left-field line for a RBI and Sydney Bourg made it 3-0 on a sacrifice fly. Gianelloni scored the final run of the inning on a wild pitch.
In the second, the three-run frame started with a run scored off an error and wild pitch. Morris then had a RBI groundout and Gianelloni capped the inning with a run-scoring triple to left field. Gianelloni drilled the pitch into the night sky, but the wind kept it in the park.
The final run of the day came in the third on a towering fly ball by Moriah Strother. Bourg led off the inning with a walk and a stolen base, and Strother crushed the ball to deep center. Kaitlyn Elzie made a great catch at the wall, but Bourg alertly tagged up and was able to score all the way from second.
Johnson’s lone hit allowed was off the bat of Alexis Hansard in the first inning. Hansard found a seam through the right side for JSU’s only hit of the game. Johnson finished with four walks but was able to limit the damage by striking out eight.
The Colonels will head to Hattiesburg, Mississippi this weekend for the Black and Gold Invitational. They will play two games on Friday against Jacksonville State (3 p.m.) and Southern Miss (7 p.m.), one on Saturday vs. Mississippi Valley (12 p.m.) and a second matchup with Southern Miss on Sunday (12 p.m.).