Early deficit too much as Northwestern State falls to Nicholls in softball series opener

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THIBODAUX – Northwestern State softball’s five-game winning streak was snapped Friday as Nicholls took the series opener, 10-0, in six innings.

The Colonels (18-16, 7-3 Southland Conference) collected 10 hits and drew nine walks off three different NSU (18-17, 9-4 SLC) pitchers.

The series wraps up Saturday with a doubleheader at 1 p.m.

Nicholls scored five runs in the first inning to create the distance the Colonels needed in the series-opening win.

“They jumped on us early, and we’ve got to come out stronger,” said Pickett, whose team fell out of first place and into fifth with the loss. “We walked nine batters, which is uncharacteristic of us this year.

“We can’t do that with the type of hitters they have. It can multiply problems.”

The Colonels chased NSU starter E.C. Delafield (4-2) without recording an out as Kasey Frederick plated two runs with a triple.

After a walk, NSU brought in reliever Bronte Rhoden with two runners aboard. Rhoden got the next two batters out, but the Colonels scored three more runs with two outs.

Nicholls added one run on a wild pitch before a Samantha Dares triple handed Nicholls a 4-0 run.

A Samantha Mracich RBI single finished the scoring at 5-0 as the Colonels totaled six hits and three walks in the inning.

Rhoden avoided further damage in the inning by leaving the bases loaded.

The freshman worked around a second-inning walk, but Rhoden didn’t finish the third inning with a pair of walks to start the frame.

Gianelloni (3-for-4) drove in two more runs with a double to increase Nicholls’ lead to 7-0 off reliever Mikayla Brown.

Brown struck out three Nicholls batters in an attempt to stem the momentum, finishing with five strikeouts.

Brown pitched 3.1 scoreless innings in relief before Dares (2-for-2, 4 RBIs) ended the game with a three-run home run in the sixth inning. The senior finished with three runs allowed on four hits and three walks.

Delafield allowed three runs on three hits and a walk without recording an out, and Rhoden gave up four runs on three hits and five walks.

NSU mustered four hits, each to lead off an inning. Sophomore Cayla Jones’ double to start the game was the Lady Demons only extra-base hit.

“We had some good at-bats, but then some at-bats were not very good,” Pickett said. “We left some runners on when we had a chance to score.

“We couldn’t put enough together tonight, and we tried to do too much at the plate, which can happen when you’re playing from behind.”

Nicholls starter Megan Landry (15-8) struck out seven in six innings with just one walk.

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