NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State, fresh off a three-game sweep at Houston Baptist, finally returns to Lady Demon Diamond tonight for a rematch with Louisiana Tech.
When Northwestern (20-12, 3-0 SLC) takes on the Lady Techsters (20-13, 5-4 C-USA) this evening at 6, the Lady Demons will be back home for the first time in a month.
“We’ve got a good Louisiana Tech team coming in and Nicholls this weekend,” said NSU head coach Donald Pickett. “We’ve got some things we still want to work towards, and do better, but hopefully we can stay hungry, work on those things and be even better the next time out.”
Highlighting the series against Houston Baptist was the performance of NSU freshman Sage Hoover, who was named the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week after striking out a career-high 14 batters in the Lady Demons’ 5-1 win in the first game of the series.
Hoover (6-3) leads the team and the conference in strikeouts this season with 95.
Louisiana Tech is also coming off a conference series win over the weekend, taking two of three at UTEP. Senior outfielder Madie Green led the Lady Techsters with four home runs and 9 RBI during the series.
After taking the first game of the series 9-3 on Friday, the Techsters fell to the Lady Miners 7-6 on Saturday. They came back strong Sunday, getting a season-high 14 hits on the way to a 6-1 victory. Audrey Pickett (13-4) picked up complete-game victories in both wins, allowing just four runs in 14 innings.
“I am proud of the way our team responded,” said first-year Tech coach Josh Taylor. “We challenged them after (Saturday’s) game, and they came back and showed what we are capable of doing. Audrey pounded the strike zone, getting ahead of hitters. And our hitters had quality at bats for the majority of the game.”
Tonight’s game marks the second meeting between NSU and Tech. The Lady Demons won the first game 3-2 on Feb. 16 in Ruston.
Tech is also home this weekend in Conference USA action, with a turnaround matchup against UTEP.
ARKANSAS TOPS LSU: No. 22 LSU fell to No. 8 Arkansas 7-3 on Monday in the rubber match of the three-game Southeastern Conference series in Fayetteville. Ciara Briggs led the LSU offense with two hits and two RBI, while Danieca Coffey went 2-for-3 and Taylor Pleasants got her sixth home run of the season.
The Lady Tigers fell behind early when Arkansas’ Linnie Malkin hit a grand slam in the Lady Razorbacks’ five-run first inning. Trailing 5-3 in the fifth inning, LSU threatened with three consecutive singles but were unable to capitalize and left the bases loaded.
LSU fell to 22-12 overall and 3-3 in the SEC while Arkansas improved to 22-6 and 4-2. The Lady Tigers play host to McNeese on Wednesday in a game that was originally scheduled for April 19.
WARHAWKS VISIT MCNEESE: ULM put on a show of defense to defeat visiting Appalachian State 2-1 Sunday in the final game of a Sun Belt Conference series, avoiding a sweep. Starting pitcher Victoria Abrams scattered five hits in the first three innings. Reliever Adrianna Chavarria (3-4) picked up the win for the Lady Warhawks.
“Our defense and our pitching most definitely won the game (Sunday),” said ULM coach Molly Fichtner. “We are playing lights-out defense right now.”
ULM (18-10, 4-5 Sun Belt) dropped the first two games with App State 6-3 and 7-6. The Warhawks head to McNeese for a non-conference game tonight at 6.
GRAMBLING DOMINATES: Grambling swept a doubleheader Monday with 27-0 and 31-0 victories over Rust College. The wins improved the Lady Tigers’ overall record to 14-14.
Grambling came back strong after being swept at Alcorn State (11-18, 4-5) in a three-game SWAC series over the weekend. The Lady Tigers, who dropped to 2-7 in conference play, fell 11-3 on Friday, 8-2 on Saturday and 6-0 on Sunday.
BOSSIER PARISH 16, ARKANSAS-RICH MOUNTAIN CC 9: The Cavaliers rallied from a 9-1 deficit with two runs in the fourth inning, five in the sixth and eight in the seventh inning. Gavin Baird had four hits and 3 RBIs, Alejandro Cazoria three hits and 3 RBI, Simon Grinberg three hits, a home run and 2 RBI and Kameron Edwards three hits and an RBI. Ayden Makarus had a grand slam in the 8-run seventh for BPCC (20-9).
Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State
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