THIBODAUX – Junior Ashton Bennett tossed a complete game shutout and recorded two of the Colonels three hits, including one in the sixth that led to the game's only run as the Nicholls State University softball team picked up a 1-0 victory against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday night at the Colonel Softball Complex.
Nicholls improves to 14-30 overall and 8-11 in conference. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi falls to 16-21 and 10-9. The Colonels will wrap up the season against the Islanders on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for noon. Twenty minutes before the game, Nicholls will honor its three seniors, Brittany Ezell, Megan Gaspard and Ashley Ray.
Bennett (8-10) went pitch-for-pitch against Islander starter Greta Cecchetti (10-6) as the two hurlers combined for no runs while giving up six hits through the first 5.5 innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, Bennett ripped a single off Cecchetti through the left side, moving Ashley Ray 60-feet away from scoring the game's first run. With one out, Leah Andrus crushed a deep fly to right, allowing Ray to come home on the sacrifice fly.
After Bennett gave up a single to Meagan McKinney to leadoff the seventh, the Islanders used a sac bunt to put her in scoring position. McKinney then advanced to third on a groundout before Bennett forced another grounder by Mikayla Heller to second to end the game, giving Nicholls the 1-0 win.
Out of 86 pitches on the night, Bennett tossed 60 strikes and fanned three. Her counterpart , Cecchetti, was equally as impressive, striking out 11 Colonels in six innings of work.
Ashley Bertot recorded the other hit for the Colonels, keeping her in the race for the Southland Conference batting title with a .381 average. The junior heads into the final day trailing Sam Houston's Kim Damian, who was 0-for-2, by one point.
Cassie Redman and McKinney had two hits each for the Islanders.
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