RUSTON, La. – The Nicholls State University softball team broke a 3-all tie with a pair of runs in the sixth as the Colonels defeated Louisiana Tech, 5-3, in nonconference action Wednesday night at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
Nicholls (29-15) took the lead twice against Louisiana Tech (28-14) before the home team tied it up both times. In the sixth, pinch runner Haley Stevenson put Nicholls ahead for good after a wild pitch allowed her to score from third, and the next batter, Samantha Mracich, slapped a single to left to add one more run.
Senior Jackie Johnson (15-8) earned the hard-fought victory after tossing 3.0 innings of relief. She walked six batters but struck out four and was able to leave the bases loaded twice. LA Tech left a total of 14 runners on base, with eight coming in the last three innings.
In the fifth, Johnson came in to pitch with two on and no outs and allowed a two-run double by Taria Page that tied the game at 3-3. LA Tech loaded the bases before Johnson fanned the next two batters. She then forced a flyout to limit the damage.
With Nicholls leading by two in the seventh, Johnson retired the first two batters before allowing a base hit. She then walked the next two to load the bases. But Tori Charters, who had two of Tech’s nine hits, was unable to pick up her third as she grounded out to Sydney Bourg at third to end the game.
Nicholls had just six hits in the win, but was able to take advantage of two LA Tech errors. The first miscue led to the game’s first run, giving the Colonels a 1-0 lead in the second. With Gretchen Morgan on first, Brooklyn Devine hit a grounder to third and the throw went into the right field corner, allowing Morgan to score from first.
After Tech tied the game in the bottom half on a sac fly, Nicholls went up 3-1 with two runs on two hits in the fourth. Two hit-by-pitches along with a single by Morgan loaded the bases, and pinch-hitter Jessica Taylor drove a base hit up the middle to plate one. On the play, the Tech center fielder bobbled the ball and Kasey Frederick scored from second.
Megan Landry had a solid start in the circle, scattering seven hits in 4.0 innings of work. Two of the hits started the fifth for LA Tech and she left the game in line for her 12th win. But Johnson was unable to hold the lead before going on to pick up the victory.
All six of the Colonels’ hits were singles and came from six different players. Mracich’s run-scoring single in the sixth extended the freshman’s hitting to streak to a team-high 10 games.
Preslee Gallaway suffered the loss for LA Tech, allowing two earned runs on three hits in 2.0 innings.
Nicholls returns to Southland Conference play this weekend with a series at Northwestern State. Friday’s opener is scheduled for 5 p.m., with Saturday’s doubleheader slated for noon.