Softball season closes out on solid note

The Lady Lions softball team traveled to Natchitoches, Louisiana to compete against Northwestern State in a three-game series, the last games of the season. Despite a great turnout this year, Lady Lions fell short in the three games against the Demons. The final scores were 2-10, 1-5 and 3-6.
Throughout the season, Lady Lions went through many cancellations due to weather, but they never showcased anything other than determination. With the season opener against Texas Tech being canceled, Lady Lions dominated with a 13-0 win against University of Missouri-Kansas City. Although the team had a few downfalls, the Lady Lions continued to beat their way to the end.
Lady Lions completed the season with a 19-29 overall record and a 10-17 mark in Southland Conference. After losing, Southeastern will not be in this year’s tournament.
Head Coach Pete Langlois led the women with positive motivation and determination.
“We kind of finished off right where we expected to be after graduating six starting seniors last year,” said Langlois.
In game one, Lady Lions managed a 1-0 lead over Northwestern State in the second inning. On a single made by senior first baseman Tori Sheppard, junior third baseman Megan Moore doubled and moved to third. Sheppard also managed to score on a wild patch, which gave Southeastern an early advantage.
In the bottom of the second inning, Northwestern State took the lead with three straight hits; which knotted the score. The score was pushed to 3-1, giving the Demons an overall lead.
In the top of the sixth inning, singles were made by junior outfielder Vanessa Eng, senior second baseman Megan McCollum and Moore. The single also plated a run, which put the runners at all corners with only one out.
With Sheppard and freshman catcher Lacey Fritz continuing to keep Southeastern trailing with a score of 4-2, the game was ended in the sixth inning with a score of 10-2.
In game two, the lead was immediately gained by Northwestern State. An RBI single and two-run single pushed the Demons up, putting the score at 3-0.
Northwestern State took the lead once again in the third and fifth innings when solo home runs were made. The advantage was pushed to 5-0 over the Lady Lions. In the top of the seventh inning, Southeastern avoided a shutout as senior Caitlyn Fowler drew a two walk out and scored on a double by freshman outfielder Brittany Tschoepe putting Southeastern on the board.
Victory was gained by Northwestern State as the game ended with a final score of 5-1.
Although the team suffered two losses on Saturday, Langlois sought and took note of some things that could prepare them for game three against Northwestern State.
“If we would have played the 10 rained out games earlier this season, we probably would be more of a veteran team this past weekend,” said Langlois. “Since those games were rained out, we’re still catching up and learning. Just gaining that experience is what we did this weekend for next year.”
During game three, in the bottom of the first inning, an early 1-0 lead was taken by Northwestern State versus senior pitcher Rachael Hellyer with a two-out rally. In the bottom of the third inning, Northwestern State took the lead once again with 3-0 over Southeastern. Becoming threatened in the fourth inning, second baseman McCollum doubled to right field and was moved to third by an error but was thrown out trying to score.
After four innings, Northwestern State’s lead was pushed to 5-0. In the top of the fifth inning, Southeastern took the board. Sophomore designated player Amber Sather led with her sixth home run over the centerfield fence. After two pitches, senior outfielder Jessie Browne batted a home run.
An out later, senior catcher Fowler gained a single, and with two outs, sophomore outfielder Katie Lacour doubled to the left field to plate Fowler as the lead was cut to 5-3.
Senior first baseman Sheppard managed to reach base runners on record-breaking walk and error by Sather.
Browne and Sather were honored during their last game. Along with a home run, Sather drew her single season school record of a 35th walk of the season. Browne hit her third home run of the season, while senior second baseman, McCollum closed out her career a team-high of ninth double of the season.
Though the team suffered a loss and did not make it into this year’s playoffs, Langlois believes the Lady Lions has what it takes to start next season off with a bang.
“We’re going to work harder, get in better shape and hope to get out there and do a better job than what we did this past year,” said Langlois.