Nielson and Truxillo play their last game of college career

Senior pitcher Kasey Nielson, above, and senior third baseman Mychal Truxillo  played their last game as Lady Lions in front of friends and family at home against McNeese.
Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion’s Roar

The Lady Lions softball team’s season ended this past weekend after a series loss against top ranked McNeese State University. This series was to be the last for senior pitcher Kasey Nielson and senior third baseman Mychal Truxillo.  

“I left it all out in the field in my last game,” said Nielson. “What’s crazy is that was my first start this year. My main role has been a relief pitcher. That’s been the first time in four years I’ve thrown seven innings. It’s one of the most amazing feelings knowing that my team had my back throughout. That just shows how far we’ve come.”

The Lions fell a game short of reaching the Southland Conference Tournament. Softball Head Coach Rick Fremin believes the team improved on many facets from last season.

“The season went well from the standpoint of us doubling our win total in conference from a year ago,” said Fremin. “Us being ranked nationally in the category of stolen bases, we had some players break and set some school records, and we won more games this year than we did a year ago as well. The team GPA is much higher. The community service hours are up. The most disappointing thing would be us being one game short of getting in the conference tournament. So, a lot of positives. I just wish we were still in the mix post season.”

Nielson feels the season could have gone in a different direction but is proud of the team’s improvement. 

“I feel like it definitely could’ve went better,” said Nielson. “We did have a few times where we let one or two innings get away from us, where we would give up the ‘big inning.’ We can clean that up a good bit, but we’ve come a long way from where we were a year ago. Last year, we won six conference games this year, we won 12. We’re just getting better and better.”

Truxillo pointed out the strengths of the team and believes the team will continue to do the same.

“I think, as a team, we’re really good at stealing bases,” said Truxillo. “We’re one of the top teams in the nation when it comes to stealing bases all season. So, I definitely think that that’s what Coach Fremin’s goal is, and he’ll keep recruiting people with speed.”

With her college career coming to an end, Nielson looks back at her time as a Lady Lion.

“My time here at Southeastern, I would say is a million different things,” said Nielson. “There’s been tough times. There’s been amazing times. There’s been sad times. There’s been exciting times. But, no matter good or bad moments, I would not trade any of those moments for the world ‘cause the friendships I’ve made, the lessons I’ve learned, the people I’ve grown close to. I’ve learned so much about the game and about myself as a person. It’s just an honor that I’ve got to play four years because not everybody can say they got to play for four years.”

Fremin was appreciative of the efforts of  Nielson and Truxillo.

“That bunch was juniors last year when I took over, and they’ve done the best they can as far as doing everything I ask and giving their very best to the program,” said Fremin. “So, I hope and wish them the best.”

Nielson shares her future plans after graduating.

“I graduate in December in health and physical education,” said Nielson. “I’m gonna get a minor in adaptive physical education and hopefully be able to teach math as well. I wanna go on and coach at whatever level I’m able to coach at. I want to impact lives the way that people, growing up, have impacted me.”

Truxillo also expressed the things she is looking forward to.

“I have one more semester till I graduate,” said Truxillo. “I plan on doing my internship during that semester, and I plan on applying to OT school at LSU, moving back home. I got engaged recently, so I’m planning my wedding.”

Fremin talks about the changes in the roster for next season and how the team is shaping up.

“We only have two seniors and there’s 12 new players coming in,” said Fremin. “That’s a lot of new faces. We’ll have a lot of depth. There’ll be a lot of competition at every position. With the majority of this team returning, I think we can only take steps forward.”

Sophomore catcher Whitney Sullivan’s solo home run was one of the bright sparks in the series loss to McNeese.
Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion’s Roar