THIBODAUX, La. – The Nicholls State University softball team found itself down four runs after four innings against Lamar, but Senior Day honoree Moriah Strother belted her seventh homer of the season to spark a comeback as the Colonels rallied for a 10-8 victory Saturday at Swanner Field.
— Nicholls Softball (@Nicholls_SB) May 5, 2018
With the win, the Colonels finished the regular season with a 38-13 overall record, a 21-6 mark in Southland play, and an 11-game winning streak. After a claiming at least a share of the regular season title on Friday, the Colonels won the program’s fifth Southland championship outright with Stephen F. Austin’s earlier loss to Abilene Christian. The regular season championship is the first for the program since 1996.
The win did not come easy for the Colonels as Lamar (28-28, 11-16) headed into the matchup needing a win to reach next week’s Southland Conference Tournament, and the Cardinals jumped all over Nicholls starter Megan Landry for six runs on seven hits. After LU added two more off of Amanda Holliday, freshman Alexis LaBure tossed 3.2 innings of shutout relief as Nicholls climbed back into it.
The Colonels led 3-1 after two innings thanks to run-scoring hits by freshmen Emma Holland and Kelsey Miller in the second inning. In the opening frame, Nicholls evened up the score on a double by Kasey Frederick.
Lamar plated four in the third to grab the lead and added three more in the top of the fourth for an 8-3 advantage. Shannon Klaus had a 2-run triple in the third as LU scored all four runs with two outs. But Nicholls was able to get one back in the bottom half of the fourth, scoring on a Skylar Hamilton groundout.
With one out in the fifth and the score 8-4, Strother cut the deficit in half with one swing of the bat, sending a pitch over the left field wall for a 2-run homer. The Colonels then scored on a Samantha Dares’ double, and Hamilton singled to short to tie the game at 8-8. Nicholls still had the bases loaded, but Anissa Rodriguez (1-2) forced a flyout to left to end the inning.
In the sixth, Strother started the final rally with a one-out single. Amanda Gianelloni drew a walk and with two down, Dares smoked a pitch into the left-center gap for a 10-8 lead. Dares was huge for the Colonels, hitting three doubles with three RBIs.
For the top of the seventh, LaBure issued a two-out walk before forcing a groundout to third to end the game. LaBure (13-4) struck out two in the victory and allowed three hits.
Nicholls and LU each had 12 hits in the finale. Strother and Dares were the lone Colonels with multi-hit games, while Shelby Henderson led the Cardinals with three hits and two RBIs.