The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

Softball to face Southeastern after two wins over SFA

March 23, 2017

After winning two games against Stephen F. Austin State University last weekend, the Nicholls softball team will continue conference play this weekend against Southeastern Louisiana University.

The Colonels dropped their only game of the series against SFA last Friday, with a final score of 0-1. Both teams managed to tally up a total of three hits, but SFA earned the only run in the fifth inning. Following their first conference loss of the season, Nicholls bounced back to beat SFA twice in a row, winning 5-4 and 2-0.

“Our hitting needs to improve in some situations,” senior shortstop Brooke Morris said in regard to the Colonels’ loss against SFA. “We beat ourselves, and we know we’re better than that.”

Nicholls Head Coach Angel Santiago repeated much of what Morris said, saying the team’s offense could still use improvement.

“You have offense and just game management thoughts, like how to manufacture a run and how to put a bunt down,” Santiago said. “Some of those mistakes that we’re making are affecting how good of an offense we can be.”

In their 5-4 win on Saturday, the Colonels gave up a three-run home run to SFA in the first inning, and did not take the lead until the seventh inning, when Nicholls managed three runs of their own.

Jackie Johnson, a senior pitcher for Nicholls, pulled off a one-hit shutout in the Colonels’ last game against SFA. She managed six strikeouts and walked just two players.

“We worked super hard in the week prior to this to get ourselves sharp and on point because we knew it was going to be a tough weekend,” Johnson said.

Nicholls starting pitcher Megan Landry played the majority of the weekend, but Santiago said that it was Johnson’s ability to close out in the final game of the weekend that propelled the team to the win.

“Her coming in a closing appearance and doing a good job shutting SFA down was excellent,” Santiago said.

Jackie Johnson earned the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week honor after her performance this past weekend. It was the fourth time this season that a player from Nicholls has won the award, with the previous three having gone out to Landry.

“As a pitcher, to get Pitcher of the Week, we know it’s not just us that put in the work. We have to have our teammates behind us so that we can get those honors,” Johnson said. “It’s really just a testament to our team as whole.”

Now with a record of 5-1 in the Southland Conference, Nicholls will face Southeastern Louisiana University at home this weekend.

“We’re going to see a lot of speed. They’re going to challenge our catchers and put us in a situation where we’re going to have to play sharp and fast defense,” Santiago said.

The first game of the series against Southeastern begins Friday at 6 p.m. at the Nicholls softball complex.

“I expect us to bounce back hard this weekend,” Morris said. “Even though we won the series, we were kind of disappointed with ourselves that we didn’t win all three. We want to come out and show that Nicholls is here to play this year.”

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