Nederland pitcher throws no-hitter as Bulldogs lock up playoff spot

Published 12:09 am Thursday, April 21, 2022

NEDERLAND — Nederland’s Sydney Nelson was surprised to learn she pitched a no-hitter in a 12-0 win over Beaumont United last week.

“My coach told me after the game,” Nelson said. “I kind of wish I knew during the game because I walked a batter and I think I would’ve focused and tried to go for the perfect game. I was content with the no-hitter and proud of myself.”

Nelson tries to maintain an even-keel demeanor on the mound to keep her teammates calm.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I feel like it is something I consciously do, because I don’t want to freak my teammates out or throw them off,” she said. “I feel like what I do on the mound carries over to them. I try to stay calm, but I am freaking out in my mind sometimes.”

Kynslee Harris, who plays catcher for Nederland, said a pitcher has to be consistent. She can tell when Nelson is on.

“It starts in warm-ups,” Harris said. “We will throw and she will do her wrist flips and I can tell if her shoulder is hurting or anything is going on. For the (United game), I could tell it was all going good.”

Harris calls the pitches for the team. She can also tell when Nelson is looking for certain pitches.

Nelson, who also plays basketball for Nederland, has a routine on the mound to get her focused, much like a basketball player at the free-throw line.

“I walk to the back of the circle and look out,” she said. “I get the ball and flip it in my glove and spin it.”

Head Coach Will Mallette said Nelson hides any nerves well.

“She stays the same whether there is pressure or no pressure,” he said. “When you see pitchers really dominating someone, they aren’t keeping track of strikeouts or hits given up. She is a machine, honestly. It is very rare to see a lot of emotion out of her. That helps her stay poised. She is a competitor. She wants to do well and help her team.”

The Nederland softball team has locked up a playoff spot and is battling with rival Port Neches-Groves for the third seed in district. If both teams win Friday, the two teams will play early next week to determine who is the third and fourth seed.