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Megan Landry throws the first pitch on opening night on February 15.

Megan Landry throws the first pitch on opening night on February 15.

Photo by: Bailee DeHart

Photo by: Bailee DeHart

Megan Landry throws the first pitch on opening night on February 15.

Softball to play their third tournament of the season

February 23, 2017

After losing one game in each of two tournaments this season, the Nicholls State University softball team looks to go undefeated in the upcoming University of Texas at Arlington Invitational.

The Colonels lost their first game of the previous Black and Gold tournament, falling 3-4 to Jacksonville State University.

Trailing by only one point during the seventh inning, Nicholls had the bases loaded but failed to convert as a hard liner was caught at first base by Jacksonville State.

“We made three uncharacteristic errors in one inning,” Angel Santiago, Nicholls softball head coach, said. “That team is receiving votes for the top twenty-five and we were that close.”

Nicholls followed up the loss with a 20-0 win over Mississippi Valley State University; a team the Colonels beat 4-3 during their first tournament of the season, the Lion Classic. Nicholls freshman outfielder Samantha Mracich had a season-high four hits.

“I’ve just been putting the work in at the field and just trusting the process,” Mracich said on her success.

Following their win over Mississippi Valley State, the Colonels played two games against the University of Southern Mississippi.

Nicholls won the first game 3-2 and the second 3-1. After finishing the tournament, the Colonels achieved an overall record of 9-2, the best start of any team in the Southland Conference this season.

“Everybody has been working hard and has been playing really selflessly,” Mracich said. “Everybody’s a part of the team and everybody wants the best for everyone.”

“The team is just more comfortable,” Santiago said.

The Colonels will follow up their performance at the UTA Invitational, their third tournament of the season.

“We’ve got more challenges this weekend,” Santiago said. “We’re just going to make sure we do what we need to do and learn from our mistakes.”

The first game of the Arlington, Texas tournament will be against University of Missouri-Kansas City, who has an overall record of 3-6 before the tournament.

The remaining four games of the tournament will alternate between the 5-4 University of Texas at Arlington and the 4-2 Wichita State University.

“[We want to] win every game, this time put it all together and try to win the tournament outright,” Santiago said.

In both of their previous tournaments this season, the Colonels were one victory away from winning each event as the team went 4-1 both times. While Nicholls attended both the Lion Classic and the Black and Gold Tournament last season, the UTA invitational is a new event for the Colonels.

“It’s all in our hands,” Santiago said.

This third tournament for the Colonels will be their second to last in the regular season before conference play begins.

“I think we’re getting great training for the Southland Conference Tournament; I think these are great situations” Santiago said.

Santiago also said that he expects many of the Colonels’ upcoming opponents to be either top 25 teams or to have received votes to be in the ranking.

“It’s time to take the next step as a team,” Santiago said.

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