Softball: Colonels notch 11th straight Southland victory in thriller at McNeese

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LAKE CHARLES, La. – The Nicholls State University softball team used another fast start by the offense and Megan Landry tossed a complete game to lift the Colonels to a 3-2 victory against McNeese in the series opener Friday night at Joe Miller Park.

Nicholls (27-17, 16-3 SLC) never trailed in the game, scoring twice in the first inning before Landry and the defense took the field. Trailing 3-1 in the seventh, McNeese (23-14, 14-5 SLC) tagged Landry for three hits and a run in the final inning, but the Colonels caught the tying runner in a rundown with Amanda Gianelloni diving for the tag to end the game.

With the win, Nicholls extended its conference winning streak to 11 games and stayed in first place in the Southland Conference standings. The Colonels saw their overall streak of 10 games come to an end with a loss Tuesday at Southern Miss, which went on to defeat McNeese the next day.

Nicholls had seven hits in the win, with three coming in the first inning against Caroline Settle (6-8). Gianelloni extended her hitting streak to 11 games with a leadoff single and scored after tagging up from second on a flyout to right. The throw to third was wild, allowing her to come home for a 1-0 lead.

Kasey Frederick, who was 2 for 4 with two runs scored, ripped a double down the third base line and scored on a Samantha Dares single.

Landry worked 1-2-3 innings in the first and second before running into trouble in the third. She gave up two singles and a hit-by-pitch with one out, but the Colonels turned a double play to limit McNeese to a lone run. Cori McCrary flew out in right field for the sacrifice fly but Dares cut off the throw home and fired to second to get the runner trying to advance.

Nicholls added to its lead with a run in the sixth, which turned out to be the difference in the game. Frederick started the inning off with her second hit of the night and then scored on a clutch two-out single by Caitlin Garcia. McNeese had an opportunity to get the run back in the bottom half after Justyce McClain roped a leadoff double, but Landry retired the next three, including a pair of strikeouts, leaving McClain stranded on second base.

In McNeese’s final at-bat, a pair of leadoff singles and a sac bunt put runners in scoring position. Alexandria Saldivar made the score 3-2 with a sacrifice fly and with two down and a runner on second, Toni Perrin delivered a base hit through the left side. Pinch runner Gracie Devall rounded third and halted, but was too far off the bag as Colonel catcher Kali Clement fired the ball to Gianelloni covering third. Devall sprinted for home and Gianelloni dove with the tag for the final out of the game.

Landry struck out five in the win and scattered seven hits. Samantha Mracich added two hits for the offense.

UP NEXT
Nicholls and McNeese wrap up the series Saturday with a noon doubleheader.

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