Softball: Colonels win on Senior Day with walkoff in the ninth

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THIBODAUX, La. – Celebrating 2019 Senior Day, the Nicholls State University softball team received plenty of big plays from its senior class against Southeastern Louisiana, but it was freshman Melise Gossen who delivered the game-winning hit in the ninth for a 4-3 walk-off victory Saturday night at Swanner Field at Geo Surfaces Park.

The win gave Nicholls a 32-20 overall record and a 21-6 mark in the Southland. The Colonels will be the No. 2 seed in next week’s Southland Conference Tournament, despite tomorrow’s result from league-leading Sam Houston State. With a Bearkat loss to Stephen F. Austin, Nicholls would claim a share of the regular season championship.

It was a historic night for senior pitcher Megan Landry, who tossed all nine innings for her 78th career victory – tying the program record set in 1985 by Laura Davis. She scattered nine hits and struck out six, allowing an unearned run in the second and two earned in the third. She finished the regular season with a 25-10 record and a 1.70 ERA.

All three seniors in the starting lineup had at least one hit and scored a run, led by a 3-for-5 night by Thibodaux native Kali Clement. With the Colonels trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Clement blooped a single to center, driving in classmate Amanda Gianelloni for the game-tying RBI. Gianelloni sparked the one-out rally by diving head-first into first base for an infield single.

In the ninth, Clement doubled with one down and two batters later, Gossen stroked a single to right for the game-winner.

Nicholls had 11 hits in the win, with Dares adding a two on the night. She gave the Red and Gray an early 2-0 advantage with a two-RBI triple in the first. Senior Kasey Frederick and Emma Holland scored on the play after each singled.

Trailing 2-1 in the third, Southeastern (32-21, 17-10 SLC) tagged Landry for four hits to grab a 3-2 lead. Jacquelyn Ramon had an RBI single before Ella Manzer drove in a run with a base hit to left.

Landry and SLU reliever Sophie Hannabas (6-6) put zeros on the board through the next 3.5 innings before the Colonels rallied in the seventh.

Nicholls will take part in the Southland Conference Tournament next week, hosted by Northwestern State in Natchitoches. Tournament play begins Tuesday and the championship will be played Friday. The Colonels’ first game will be at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

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