Cardinals softball blanked by Nicholls

Published 12:17 am Saturday, May 7, 2016

Lamar sports information

THIBODAUX, La. — The Lamar Cardinals saw their hopes of a first-round bye in next week’s Southland Conference Softball Tournament come to an end with a disappointing 5-0 loss to host Nicholls on Friday evening.

LU (31-19 overall, 17-8 Southland) still has a strong chance of finishing second entering the final day of the regular season. The Cardinals need to win one of their two games against Nicholls on Saturday, or see Central Arkansas lose at least one game in its doubleheader at league-leading McNeese.

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On Friday, LU fell behind early and couldn’t catch up against the Colonels (37-14, 20-4), who remain a half-game behind McNeese. Nicholls took advantage of three first-inning errors by the Cardinals to score two unearned runs off of LU starter Ciara Luna (15-6).

“You can’t start like that,” a frustrated LU coach Holly Bruder said. “You can’t expect to beat the second-place team if you’re going to make multiple errors.”

Luna settled down after that as she matched zeroes with Nicholls starter Hannah Haydel over the next three innings to keep the score at 2-0 heading to the fifth.

The Cardinals had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the fifth inning, loading the bases with nobody out, but Kelly Meeuwsen and Brittany Rodriguez each grounded into fielder’s choices that saw the lead runner forced out at home. Brynn Baca then grounded out to end the threat.