NATCHITOCHES— McNeese softball’s quest for a fourth straight Southland Conference Tournament title came to an end early hour Friday morning in a 10-4 loss to second seed Nicholls.
McNeese ends its season with a 30-30 record, the 11th straight year with at least thirty wins and the third straight year with at least 30 wins under head coach James Landreneau.
McNeese began Thursday with a 3-0, 11 inning win over Stephen F. Austin in a win or go home game. Sophomore Toni Perrin broke a scoreless game with a two-run home run then senior Justyce McClain added a run off a sacrifice fly help McNeese stay alive and advance to the semifinals against Nicholls.
While Perrin and McClain provided the offense, freshman Saleen Flores did her part in the circle by keeping SFA scoreless in 9 2/3 innings before giving way to sophomore Caroline Settle for 1/3 of an inning. Junior Alexsandra Flores threw the final two innings.
In the second game of the day for the Cowgirls, with the score tied at four, Caitlin Garcia’s grand slam gave the Colonels an 8-4 lead and one they wouldn’t give up. Nicholls scored two more runs in the sixth to advance to Friday’s championship against Sam Houston State.
McNeese 3, Stephen F. Austin 0 (11 inn.)
T11- Toni Perrin hit a two-run homerun with Cori McCrary on second after McCrary led the inning off with a single then stole second. Justyce McClain’s sacrifice fly to left scored Megan Holmes, who drew a pinch-hit walk. McN 3, SFA 0
-McNeese stranded a runner in the first two innings including leaving Justyce McClain on second base in the first inning after she led the game off with a single up the middle
-McNeese stranded two more runners in scoring position in the third with back-to-back singles by Kaylee Lopez and Aubree Turbeville with two outs. Cowgirls could push a run across as Demi Boudreaux went down swinging.
-The Cowgirls defense came up big in the game, turning three double plays including the eighth inning when SFA had the bases loaded with one out. Cori McCrary got a grounder and threw to home for the second out then shortstop Haylee Brinlee got a grounder and touched her bag to end the threat.
-McNeese got out of another bases loaded jam in the 10th inning. Alex Flores got Lindsay Gregory to line out to McCrary at short to end the inning.
-Cowgirl starter, freshman Saleen Flores was excellent in the circle who gave up five hits in 8 2/3 innings with six walks and she helped her cause with solid defense in the circle.
-sophomore Caroline Settle relieved her in the ninth and faced two batters before giving way to Alex Flores who pitched the rest of the game. Alex picked up the win to improve to 13-12 overall. Alex didn’t give up a hit in her two innings of work and struck out two and walked three.
-McNeese picked up nine hits including two extra base hits. Aubree Turbeville doubled in the ninth before Perrin’s two run homerun in the 11th.
- McClain, Turbeville, and Alexandria Saldivar all had two hits apiece
Nicholls 10, McNeese 4
T2- McCrary’s one out single up the middle scored Demi Boudreaux gave McNeese the early lead. Boudreaux led the inning off with a double to right center and came home on McCrary’s single. Alexandria Saldivar added to the lead with a two-run homerun over the left field wall. McN 3, Nicholls 0
B2- Nicholls gets on the board with a solo homerun by Kasey Frederick. McN 3, Nicholls 1
T3- McNeese gets the run back when McClain led the inning off with a single up the middle. McClain moved into scoring position by stealing second then scored on a single to first by Turbeville. McN 4, Nicholls 1
B3- Nicholls tied the game by scoring three runs, all with two outs on four hits and a Cowgirl error. McN 4, Nicholls 4
B5- Nicholls extended its lead to 8-4 on a two-out Caitlin Garcia grand slam. Nicholls 8, McN 4
B6- Nicholls added to its lead with two runs on a sacrifice fly to right field by Amanda Gianelloni then scored another run on a Cowgirl error. Nicholls 10, McN 4
- McNeese collected nine hits with eight different players picking up at least one hit
- McClain led the Cowgirls with two hits and had one of three doubles for the Cowgirls
- Boudreaux and Perrin also had a double apiece
- Saldivar had two of the four RBI
- Turbeville and McCrary also had one RBI each
- Seven pitchers were used with McNeese using four and Nicholls using three
- Alexsandra Flores started the game and Amber Coons, Caroline Settle and Ashley Koncir were all used in relief