Lady Lions sweep series against Cardinals

Freshman infielder Ali McCoy hit her first home run as a Lady Lion in the third game of the series against Lamar to help the softball team complete the  sweep.  McCoy drove in two runs and scored two runs in the third game.
Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion’s Roar

The Lady Lions softball kept their undefeated record at home against Southland Conference opponents intact with a series sweep against Lamar. The 2-1, 6-3, 5-3 victories pushed their overall record to 17-18 while their conference record improved to 6-6.

“I’m just really proud of the team, able to pull off another sweep and remain undefeated in conference at home,” said Head Coach Rick Fremin. “I just thought it was a total team effort this weekend. I thought we were extremely consistent, all three games. We did a great job of staying even kill regardless of uncontrollable. So, I was really pleased.”

Senior pitcher Kasey Nielson also credited the Lady Lion’s team work for the victory.

“Throughout the series, I felt like we did a great job of working together as a team, picking each other up,” said Nielson. “Whether we get a bad at bat or we misplay a ball, we just knew we had each other’s back. The energy was so live that it was just an amazing feeling knowing that we had each other.”

The Lady Lions hit a home run in every game of the series. Junior outfielder Kalyn Watts continued her hitting form with a fifth home run of the season in the second game. She was joined by junior infielder Mahalia Gibson, junior outfielder Maddie Edmonston and freshman infielder Ali McCoy, who each hit a home run. Fremin was pleased to see the team execute big plays during crucial situations.

“I challenged them this series to have fun with the things in the game that make it special: a diving play, throwing out somebody on a steal, a diving catch, timely hitting, a home run, catching a foul ball,” said Fremin. “The double play at the end of the game was just huge specially when they were pressing.” 

McCoy drove in two runs and scored two runs to seal the series sweep. She felt she needed to do something special in the third game.

“It felt great, especially after my performance at the plate yesterday,” said McCoy. “I came back and I was determined to get a hit. It feels awesome to be there for my team and hold the rope as we say.” 

Fremin switched around the pitchers throughout the series and thought they put on a great effort.   

“Rachel Hayes did a phenomenal job in game one,” said Fremin. “Hill came out in game two, wasn’t her best day. Nielson came in right behind her and just was through lights out. Her ERA, she just keeps getting it where we want it and I’m really proud of her. Rachel got the nod again today, but it wasn’t her day. So then we go to Hill and told her to fill up the zone, just play defense behind. We had everybody else ready in the staff ’cause we thought we might use all seven pitchers today. I’m really proud of the bench and their attitude in the game too.”

Nielson was also delighted with her performance in the second game.

“I thought I did my job, what I’m supposed to do,” said Nielson. “I felt that once again my team had my back no matter what. It was a pressure situation but those are the situations I’m meant for and my team helped me without a doubt achieve the goal.”

This series was the first time the team had a full, healthy roster.

“This is the first time in game one that we had a full team healthy,” said Fremin. “21 players were healthy for this series and that’s the first time all spring we’ve had that.”

After the series victory, McCoy is expecting for a great second half of the season.  

“I’m expecting a lot from us,” said McCoy. “I have high expectations from this team. We have so much potential and talent. I think we showed this weekend how hard we worked. We just put it all out there.”

Fremin explains his plan for the rest of the tournament and for the week leading up to the game against Houston Baptist on Friday, Apr. 7.

“As far as the tournament goes, we just have to keep winning series,” said Fremin. “We’re off again this midweek so we can let our bodies heal up. Probably go on a mid week scrimmage within the team, work on some things we need to clean up and we’re on the road in Texas. Looking forward to that series to keep the momentum going.”    

Junior outfielder Kalyn Watts continued her hitting form with yet another home run in the second game of the series against Lamar. This was her fifth home run of the season.
Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion’s Roar