Wildcat softball rallies, but ends season in opener of first Southland Conference tourney
LAKE CHARELS, LA —
No. 7 Northwestern State just hanged on 4-3 for the win over No. 6 Abilene Christian in game two of the 2018 Southland Conference Softball Tournament at Joe Miller Field in Lake Charles, La.
The Lady Demons advance to the second round of the tournament to face No. 3 McNeese at 6:30 p.m. CT tonight. The winner will play No. 2 Stephen F. Austin at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow while the other will face an elimination game Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
It all came down to the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded and two outs for Abilene Christian, down by just one run. Allyson Bishop was at the plate with a 2-2 count and sent a hard line drive that a diving Toni Herbert secured to give Northwestern State the win.
The Lady Demons picked up the win behind a big sixth inning that saw them drive in all their runs. The Lady Demons got on the board when left fielder Kaitlyn St. Clair sent a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score second baseman Cayla Jones. Designated player Codi Vernace then singled to centerfield to score Elise Vincent before first baseman Hayley Barbazon cracked a homer to right field off the McNeese “intimidator” to extend the NSU lead to 4-1.
NSU had an early scare in the bottom of the third, forcing ACU’s second baseman Holly Neese to fly out to right field to end the frame leaving the bases loaded. In the next inning, catcher Kayla Keeling smacked the left-field pole on the second pitch of the frame to put the Wildcats ahead 1-0.
Abilene Christian’s right-handed pitcher Hannah Null gave up her first of the game in the fourth inning when Julie Rawls ripped a single to right field for the Lady Demons. She tossed a complete game with seven strikeouts and five hits.
Micaela Bouvier earned the win on a six-inning, four hit effort. She recorded seven strikes before teammate Mikayla Brown finished the game and tallied a save.