Lady Lions softball off to a roaring start


Samantha Sims

The Lady Lion’s gathering at home plate to celebrate Audrey Greely’s first homerun of the game and the 2023 season which ultimately gave Southeastern a 2-1 victory over Missouri State in their opener Friday at North Oak Park. (Feb. 10, 2023)

The Lady Lions had their season opener Feb. 11 at North Oak Park and were victorious against the Missouri State Bears.  

The final score was 2-1, with the Lady Lions holding the lead since the second inning of the game. 

The first inning got off to a slow start, with neither team scoring a run. The tide changed when junior outfielder Audrey Greely hit a home run during the second inning. Greely’s hit resulted in two runs, advancing Lexi Johnson from first base and helping the Lady Lions win the game. 

“I was just seeing the ball really well and I felt comfortable with my team being behind me,” Greely stated. 

Missouri State scored their lone run in the third inning. 

The Lady Lions were excited about their win against Missouri State, a program that has made seven regional appearances, including one last season. The Bears were also one of the top defensive teams in the nation a year ago. 

Coach Rick Fremin and junior pitcher Cera Blanchard said they believe the win was due to the team’s togetherness and they are excited to compete this season. 

“I think we need to keep communicating and staying in each other’s back pockets,” Blanchard stated. 

Even after their win, the Lady Lions and Coach Fremin are still looking for ways to improve as a team.

“I’m looking forward to everything coming together: offense, defense, speed, power, pitching and staff,” Fremin said. 

Overall, the Lions were able to outhit the Missouri Bears and only committed one error throughout the entire game. 

“We won a close game and that’s probably the most important thing. Anytime you can do that, it’s the mark of a good bunch,” Fremin said. 

Southeastern went on to win games two and three of the series comfortably, 7-1 and 8-0. Both contests were played back-to-back on Sunday due to rain in Hammond on Saturday. 

The Lady Lions’ pitching staff was lights out, giving up just two runs in 20 innings pitched over the weekend against the reigning Missouri Valley Conference Champions. 

Ellie DuBois, Chyanne Ellet (1-0), MC Comeaux and Lainee Bailey held the Bears to just four hits while striking out eight batters during game two’s 10 a.m. matchup.

Junior right fielder/first baseman Lexi Johnson went 4-4 to the tune of two RBIs in the win and finished the three-game series 6-8, earning herself Southland Conference Hitter of the Week. 

Game three was played right after the conclusion of game two at North Oak Park and featured the most lopsided contest of the series. 

Cera Blanchard (1-0) and KK Ladner combined for a shutout, Southeastern’s first of the young season. 

The seventh inning wasn’t needed, as SLU eight-run ruled the Bears in the sixth. 

Blanchard, who dazzled in her Green and Gold debut, is a new addition to Coach Fremin’s squad. The junior from Metairie was an all-conference and all-regional performer during her two years at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi. 

Blanchard pitched eight shutout innings over two games and posted as many strikeouts as hits allowed (5). 

The De La Salle product’s performance landed her Southland Conference’s Pitcher of the Week. 

Next up for Southeastern is a home date vs. LA Tech. The first pitch is set for 5 p.m. tomorrow at North Oak Park. The Lady Lions will look to top the fellow Louisianian Bulldogs in Hammond, America.