The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

Nicholls Softball: Rutherford’s go-ahead home run lifts Colonels past Islanders

Photo by: Timmy Seiler
Nicholls catcher Riley Rutherford (#12) stands on first base after reaching on a fielding error in the fifth inning. Rutherford went on to hit a go ahead home run in the following inning.

THIBODAUX – Riley Rutherford’s two-run home run in the sixth inning made the difference in Nicholls softball’s series opener against Texas A&M – Corpus Christi as the Colonels defeated the Islander 2-0 on Friday.

The Junior catcher capped off a defensive masterpiece late with the only score of the game.

“It felt like (a home run), but I knew I hit hard enough for [the runner] to score and that’s all that mattered,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford’s home run comes on the heels of a career performance in Nicholls’ previous series against UIW. Rutherford recorded career highs in hits in a game (3) and matched her career mark with one double in the series.

Head Coach Justin Lewis said he knew Rutherford’s performance last week would be indicative of tonight’s showing.

“Last weekend she was really good. She’s one of those kids who’s really streaky and when she’s dialed in you can see it,” Lewis said. “Last weekend was big for her and I had a feeling she was going to do something like she did.”

The Colonels faced reigning Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year Primrose Aholelei who finished with 64 pitches and held the Colonels to two runs.

Lewis said the Colonels’ lack of hits stemmed from her pitching abilities.

“She’s the biggest competitor in our conference and it’s a battle every time we play her,” Justin said. “[Corpus Christi] plays really well behind her because that’s their warrior. When you get a kid like that you know you have a chance to win.”

Nicholls pitcher Audrey McNeill outshined Aholele, doubling her strikeout total(8), allowing no runs, and ending the game without hitting a batter. Her eight strikeouts were one shy of her season high of nine.

“It feels good, I haven’t been throwing a lot of strikeouts recently,” McNeill said. “I’ve been more of a contact pitcher in the last couple weeks, so it feels good to assert dominance and be on top.”

McNeill finished with a shutout, but struggled at the end of the game, letting two batters on base in the seventh.

She said closing out games has been a struggle for her lately.

“I’ve been struggling getting through the seventh inning recently, letting [teams] tie it up in the seventh, so getting over the hump and throwing that [final] strikeout was awesome.”

Outside of her individual performance, McNeill said it’s good to get the win..

“I think we’re in a good spot, our momentum is up and we have a good shot to take the series and possibly sweep,” McNeill said.

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Brogan Burns
Brogan Burns, Sports Editor
I'm a Mass Communications major and a huge Saints fan. I’m from Chalmette, and I haven’t seen my dog in a month. Fun Fact: I’ve listened to the Sour album upwards of 50 times.

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