The Northwestern State softball team will attempt to sustain its momentum gained in a series finale win at McNeese as the Lady Demons head to Grambling on Tuesday.
NSU (14-16) will face the Lady Tigers (12-12) at 3 p.m. at the GSU Softball Complex.
The Lady Demons salvaged its series against McNeese by erasing a three-run deficit and rallying for a 4-3, extra-innings win.
“We’re trying to carry that over from Saturday into (Monday’s) practice and taking it to Grambling on Tuesday,” said NSU coach Donald Pickett. “We want to carry that energy and that fight all the way through the week and into the home series against Southeastern this weekend.
“We want to build off it and keep moving forward. We’re not asking to take great strides, but we’re looking steady progress and not to take any steps back.”
Against McNeese, Freshman Maggie Black jolted NSU back to life with a two-run home that sliced McNeese’s lead to 3-2 in the fifth inning. Junior Emma Hawthorne sent the game to extra innings with an RBI single in the seventh inning before a freshman Riley Cantrell sacrifice fly scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning.
All the while, sophomore pitcher E.C. Delafield bounced back from a difficult start (three runs in two innings) to pitch six scoreless innings and secure the win.
“It’s good to know that we have that depth and to know that at any time, anybody can pick us up,” Pickett said. “Maggie had a big day Saturday toward the bottom of the lineup, and we’ve had different people step up in different ways.
“We made some great defensive plays, had some infield hits that we beat out and put some pressure on McNeese with stolen bases. If we can keep getting that production, we know the top of the lineup will produce more consistently than maybe they did this past weekend.”
The finale win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Lady Demons, who dropped a midweek decision against Louisiana Tech before falling in the first two McNeese games.
After three Southland Conference series, NSU (6-3 SLC) is in a five-way tie for third place.
Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State, McNeese and Lamar are also tied with the Lady Demons, who entered the series in a tie for first place.
Nicholls (5-1 SLC) and Southeastern (7-2 SLC) top the league standings as the Lady Lions visit for the weekend series, the first in which the Cypress Trophy will be awarded to the winner.
Grambling will attempt to rebound from a sweep against Alcorn State this past weekend that dropped the Lady Tigers’ SWAC record to 0-6.
GSU has two wins against Division I opponents this season.
NSU holds a 26-3 edge all-time against GSU, including winning the last five in the series.
CUTLINE: NSU outfielder Kaitlyn St. Clair has been a steady force for the Lady Demons at the No. 2 spot in the lineup.
CREDIT: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services