SOFTBALL — Northwestern State uses offensive explosion to split doubleheader with Lamar

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BEAUMONT, Texas — Northwestern State softball head coach Donald Pickett made quite a few lineup adjustments in between a pair of games Friday at Lamar. And it was just what the Lady Demons needed.

After dropping a 3-1 decision in the opener, NSU responded and downed the Cardinals 15-2 in seven innings in Game 2.

“I was really happy to see us play up to our potential in that second game,” head coach Donald Pickett said. “We had been struggling the past few games, and it was really good to see the kids respond.”

The results push the Lady Demons’ record to 16-12 overall and 10-4 in Southland Conference play. The Cardinals stand at 5-33 overall and 1-13 in league action.

Where Game 1 featured an offensive struggle for NSU — comprised of six hits, all singles — Game 2 encompassed an offensive outburst. The Lady Demons registered 21 hits and 11 of them went for extra bases.

Junior E.C. Delafield and senior outfielder Hayley Barbazon each had a home run. Delafeld had two other hits, and freshman infielder Keely DuBois joined her in the three-hit, three-RBI club.

Senior infielder Emma Hawthorne, sophomore Bronte Rhoden and sophomore catcher Alexis Perry also had three hits, while senior outfielder Kaitlyn St. Clair and junior infielder Cayla Jones each had a pair of hits.

Pickett hopes those bats can remain hot for the series finale Saturday. First pitch in that one is set for 12 p.m.

NSU 15, Lamar 2 (7 innings)

Delafield helped out her own cause plenty in Game 2, as she also received the start. She twirled six innings, surrendering two earned runs on two hits with seven strikeouts to improve to 6-2 on the season.

NSU started off with a run in the first and ballooned the lead out to 5-0 with four more in the second inning. One more in the third and three more in the fourth had it looking as though the Lady Demons would end it in five innings.

But Lamar had enough of an answer, both of its runs, to extend the game a couple more frames. However, a six-run seventh by the Lady Demons would put it to bed.

Lamar 3, NSU 1

The Lady Demons’ bats were slow to warm Friday. They managed to score one in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI infield single by Delafield.

The Cardinals struck first in their half of the first with one run. They added another in the third and answered Delafield’s RBI with one of their own in the bottom of the fifth.

Junior Jensen Howell got the start for NSU and lasted two innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits with two strikeouts. She took the loss and fell to 5-5 on the season. Sophomore Bronte Rhoden tossed the final four innings and yielded one earned run on two hits.

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