Back-to-back homers from Kellye Kincannon and a massive five-run second inning gave the Northwestern State softball team a 9-4 victory over in-state rival Louisiana Tech Wednesday evening at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
Kincannon homered in the second with Brianna Rodriguez on first to put the Lady Demons (14-14) up 2-0, and followed with a series of runs as the Lady Techsters (11-21) committed a pair of errors, allowing NSU to load up the bases.
Senior Tara McKenney was walked, sending one over the plate, followed by a single up the middle from Brittany Virgoe to score two more.
"We needed to get this win heading into the weekend for a tough conference series with McNeese State," said sixth-year head coach Donald Pickett. "We put up a strong performance at the plate, especially after a rough weekend at SFA."
Kincannon homered once again in the third to put NSU up 6-0, but LA Tech answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning in an attempt to combat NSU's lead.
With the six-run advantage, freshman Shelby Sells entered in the circle for starter Skylar Cagle (4-4), who gave up just one hit in two complete innings.
Sells gave up all four runs and four hits, and was relieved by sophomore Baylee Gray in the same inning she entered. Gray threw 4.2 innings to complete the game allowing just four hits and striking out six.
The Lady Demons tacked on three more runs in the seventh when Virgoe doubled down the left field line with pinch-runner Tashana Triplett on first. Cassandra Barefield followed with a homer, her 10th of the season, to cap scoring for the day.
Kincannon and Virgoe lead from the plate with 2-for-4 performances and three RBI, respectively. Barefield finished just behind at 1-for-4 and two RBI.
Northwestern State returns to the Lady Demon Diamond for a six-game home-stand starting with McNeese State in a three-game series on Saturday at 2:00. Southern comes to Natchitoches for a doubleheader on Wednesday beginning at four o'clock, followed by a Southland Conference series with Sam Houston State on April 5.
Northwestern State 9, Louisiana Tech 4
Northwestern State 0 5 1 0 0 0 3 – 9 7 0
Louisiana Tech 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 – 4 9 2
Cagle, Sells, Gray and DelaGarza. Tufi, Duran and Kipp and Moran. W – Cagle (4-4). L – Tufi (7-6). Leaders – Northwestern State: Kincannon (2-4, 3 RBI), Virgoe (2-4, 3 RBI), Barefield (1-4, 2 RBI). Lousiana Tech: Godwin (2-3, 1 RBI), Kipp (2-4). T – 2:22. A – 404. Records – Northwestern State (14-14), Louisiana Tech (11-21).
Release provided by the NSU sports information department.