THIBODAUX â€“ The Nicholls State University softball team lost both games of a Southland Conference doubleheader to third-place Texas State University on Saturday at the Colonel Softball Complex. Nicholls fell 3-1 in the first game before losing game two, 9-4.
Ashley Ray had four hits and Megan Gaspard chipped in three to lead the Colonels (9-27, 2-14 SLC) at the plate. Ray had a triple and a double on the day while Gaspard recorded leadoff hits in both contests to extend her hitting streak to 10 games.
In game one, Nicholls jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first after Gaspard singled, stole second and was then brought in on Rayâ€™s triple. However, Texas State (23-18, 16-7 SLC) starting pitcher Anne Marie Taylor settled down, giving up just three hits the rest of the way in 6.1 innings of work, finishing with 10 strikeouts.
The Bobcats grabbed the lead in the third with two runs on four hits, but Ashton Bennett limited the damage as she left the bases loaded by picking up a strikeout to end the inning. Bennett tossed her ninth complete game of the season, giving up just one earned run on eight hits with three strikeouts.
After Texas State added an unearned run in the fourth, Nicholls made one last push by putting two runners on in the seventh with one out, but Texas Stateâ€™s Crystal Alaniz came out of the bullpen to record the final two outs which included a strikeout to end the game.
For the second game, Nicholls went into the fifth tied with Texas State at 3-3, but the Bobcats broke open the game with a six-run inning as they went on to win 9-4.
The Colonels pounded out 11 hits in the loss, led by Rayâ€™s 3-for-4 outing. Gaspard, Mandy Granger and Whitney Roan each finished with two hits.
Texas State struck first, plating three runs in the fourth; however, Nicholls came right back with three runs in its at-bat to even the score. Nicholls used four hits in the inning which included RBI singles by Katie Holmes and Lauren Jolivette.
In the next frame, five hits and an error fueled the big inning for Texas State, but Nicholls bounced back in the bottom-half. Rayâ€™s leadoff double led to a run to make it 9-4, and with two outs, the Colonels loaded the bases but were unable to cut further into the deficit.
Texas Stateâ€™s Chandler Hall struck out the side in the seventh for the complete game victory and matched Smithâ€™s game-one performance with 10 strikeouts.
Carlee Winklemann was tagged with the loss, surrendering six earned runs on 10 hits. Katie Moulder had a solid outing in relief, tossing three innings with no runs on two hits.
Nicholls and Texas State will complete the series on Sunday with a 12 p.m. first pitch. Live stats and live audio are available courtesy of ThibodauxOnline.com and geauxcolonels.com.
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