LAKE CHARLES—McNeese softball returns to its Southland Conference schedule this weekend when the Cowgirls will travel to Natchitoches to take on league-leading Northwestern State (20-9, 8-1 SLC) in a three-game series. The series will begin with a single game at 6 p.m. Friday before concluding with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday. Live streaming and live stats will be available with links located on mcneesesports.com.
McNeese (22-11, 5-4 SLC) is coming off a 9-6 non-conference home loss to South Alabama on Wednesday. The Cowgirls, winners of five of their last six games will look to pick up its second conference road series this season. After being swept at UCA in the conference opening series, the Cowgirls bounced back to win two of three at Sam Houston State on March 17.
Justyce McClain will lead the Cowgirls into the series with a team-best .441 batting average, 49 hits, and 31 runs scored and 16 stolen bases. She extended her hitting streak to six games against South Alabama where she went 2-for-3 and walked twice.
Other Cowgirls batting over .300 are Erika Piancastelli (.340), Morgan Catron (.330), and Hailey Drew (.308). Piancastelli and Catron both lead the team with 10 home runs apiece. Piancastelli also has a team-high 11 doubles and 25 walks and is second in hits (32), runs scored (28), and 30 RBI. Catron leads the Cowgirls with 33 RBI and is has 31 hits with 17 walks. Drew is second with 17 walks and has scored 24 runs to go along with 24 hits.
Sophomore Alexsandra Flores is sporting a 10-3 record with a 2.41 ERA with 49 strikeouts. Freshmen Caroline Settle (6-5), Amber Coons (4-2), and Ashley Koncir (2-0) have all seen their share of time in the circle. Settle has a 3.43 ERA with 29 strikeouts, Coons has a 3.43 ERA and also has 29 strikeouts while Koncir has a 3.99 ERA with seven strikeouts.
Northwestern State, winners of five of its last six games is coming off a home sweep over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi last weekend. The only conference blemish for the Lady Demons is a 4-3 loss at Abilene Christian on March 16.
Cayla Jones leads NW State with a .432 batting average, 32 hits, six home runs, 24 RBI, and 16 walks. Julie Rawls and Emma Hawthorne both have 23 RBI while Rawls is batting .353 with five home runs. Hayley Barbazon is batting .310 with 27 hits and 14 RBI and Madelyn Matt is hitting .309 with 21 hits.
Micaela Bouvier and Mikayla Brown have done the bulk of the pitching for the Lady Demons. Bouvier is 10-3 with a 2.13 ERA with 66 strikeouts while Brown is 7-2 with a 3.09 ERA and 41 strikeouts.
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