Colonels secure a spot at the Southland Conference Tournament

The Nicholls State University softball team secured a spot at the Southland Conference tournament games this weekend after a three-game winning streak over Northwestern State University at the Colonel Softball Complex.

After a strong regular season, Nicholls (33-14, 16-4 SLC) made it to a postseason game for the first time since 2010. The Colonels also improved their conference record, 16-4, which allowed the team to compete for the regular season title. As of now, Nicholls ranks in second place with a half game lead over Lamar University and only 1.5 games behind the standings of first-place McNeese State University.

The Colonels debuted in the postseason games with a 1-0 victory over the Lady Demons at home on ’90s Night’ this Friday.

The Colonels had six hits in the win, two each from Veronica Villafranco and Alexis Huss. NSU threw out the lead runner on third for the second out allowing Brooke Morris to reach on a fielder’s choice.

Jessica Taylor provided the offense with the only run-scoring single of the night in the bottom of the sixth, allowing pinch runner Kasey Frederick to score from second for the 1-0 lead. Hannah Haydel tossed her first career no-hitter in the game, striking out seven and increasing her record to 16-7. Nicholls’ freshman Amanda Gianelloni got the first two outs before senior Danielle Phillips caught a fly ball in center field to secure the no-hitter.
The Lady Demons’ pitcher Micaela Bouvier took the loss after striking out three and stranding seven runners on base.

Nicholls also won both games of the doubleheader played against the Lady Demons, 5-1 and 10-4, on Saturday.
The Colonels started the first game with a strong offense to take the opener, 5-1, over NSU after another no-hitter by Haydel and a strong start by Meghan Landry, who pitched four innings of three-hit ball.

Nicholls held the Lady Demons hitless on Friday until NSU recorded its first hit in the third inning, which led to a run. NSU next scored on a RBI single by Brittney Jones. The Colonels responded scoring eight hits in the win, from Danielle Phillips and Kayla Prater. Huss and Haley Parkerson’s sacrifice flies allowed Nicholls to get a run in the third and fourth innings, taking a 3-1 lead in the fifth after three NSU errors in the game.

Haydel notched four strikeouts after pitching the final three innings and did not allow a walk. Haydel got two more runs the sixth, scoring on an error and a fielder’s choice. Shelby Sells took the loss for NSU, finishing with four walks and three strikeouts and allowing five runs in six innings of work.

In game two, the Colonels scored six runs after taking advantage of four first-inning errors by NSU. The Colonel pitchers switched roles from the first game as Haydel started pitching the first four innings. Haydel allowed two runs on four hits and struck out two. Landry pitched the final three innings, giving up a run on two hits and fanned two.

Haley Stevenson scored the first two of her RBIs in the first inning with a 2-run triple that added to Nicholls six-run frame. The Lady Demons got three runs in the second, and scored two on a single by Kellye Kincannon, cutting the lead in half 6-3 after a Colonel error.

In the bottom of the third, Northwestern State recorded three more errors in the bottom of the third inning. Brooke Morris scored after a single and Stevenson drove in another run on a groundout to short, increasing Nicholls’ lead 8-3 in the sixth inning.

The Colonels added two runs on three hits in the seventh inning, after Gianelloni tripled and scored on a base hit by Veronica Villafranco and Huss got a RBI double to right center.

Bouvier (13-8) took the loss for the Lady Demons although not allowing any earned run in five innings.

The Colonels will head to Hammond, La. for a three-game series at Southeastern Louisiana University on Friday. The Lions (22-27, 5-16 SLC), are coming off of a three-game losing streak after being defeated by the Cowgirls.