HAMMOND – The Southeastern Louisiana softball team closes out the pre-conference portion of its 2013 schedule on Wednesday, hosting Jackson State for a 4 p.m. doubleheader on Nurse Night at North Oak Park.
Southeastern (10-5) will be playing for the first time since Feb. 24, as last Wednesday’s game versus Alcorn State was postponed and rescheduled for April 10. Jackson State enters Wednesday’s contests with a 5-16 overall record. Live stats and live video (LionVision subscription required) will be available at LionSports.net.
Wednesday will be Nurse Night at the games, as Southeastern nursing students will receive free food courtesy of Southeastern Athletics. All Southeastern nursing faculty and staff will get free admission, while their guests and nurses in the community can enter at a reduced $2 admission. Former Lady Lion and three-time All-Southland Conference pitcher Rachel Ray Fitzgerald, the school’s career strikeout leader and a registered nurse at North Oaks, will throw out Wednesday’s first pitch prior to the 4 p.m. game.
Southeastern enters Wednesday’s action with a .231 team batting average. Freshman designated player Amber Sather (.353) and senior outfielder Kelsey Nichols (.341) are the top hitters for average for the Lady Lions. Freshman outfielder Katie Lacour is just shy of giving Southeastern a trio of .300-plus hitters, coming into Wednesday’s game with a .292 average.
Five different Lady Lions have combined for the team’s eight home runs on the season. Sather paces the team with three home runs and 13 runs batted in. Junior first baseman Tori Sheppard has two home runs, while Nichols, senior catcher Katie Doyle and junior outfielder Logane Fuselier have one apiece. Sather and Nichols share the team lead with five doubles, while Doyle and senior outfielder Michelle Duhe have one triple apiece.
Fuselier has scored a team-high 10 runs, while Doyle and Duhe each have seven runs scored apiece. Sather also paces the squad with 12 walks, a .522 on-base percentage and a .765 slugging percentage.
In the circle, a deep Southeastern pitching staff has combined for a 2.52 team earned run average and three shutouts. Junior Rachael Hellyer (4-0, 1.79 ERA, 1 save), senior Kati Morse (2-1, 1.79 ERA), freshman Taylor Bishop (2-3, 1.89 ERA), junior Jessie Browne (1-0, 4.00 ERA) and senior Kenna Terry (1-1, 4.79 ERA) all have been effective in the circle for the Lady Lions.
The Lady Lion pitching staff has been backed by stellar defense, as Southeastern has a .973 team fielding percentage through the first 15 games. Sheppard, junior second baseman Megan McCollum, senior shortstop Kayla Elswick and sophomore third baseman Megan Moore have all been stellar, while the outfield group of Duhe, Nichols, Lacour and Fuselier has yet to commit an error in 2013.
Jackson State, which hosts William Carey on Tuesday, is hitting .234 as a team. Junior pitcher/outfielder Jasmin Warren leads the team with a .323 batting average, as she, senior infielder Sabrina Romero, senior outfielder Taylor Nave, junior infielder Lauren Aikens, freshman infielder Chelsea Smith and junior catcher Arianna Smith share the team lead with one home run apiece.
In the circle, JSU has a combined team ERA of 5.54. Junior Breea Jameson (4-11, 3.84 ERA) and Warren (1-5, 7.75 ERA) have handled the majority of the work in the circle for the Lady Lions.
Southeastern is 8-6 all-time versus Jackson State. Last season, Southeastern swept JSU in Jackson behind strong pitching performances by Morse and then-senior Vicki Honeycutt.
Following Wednesday’s games, Southeastern will open Southland Conference play, hosting Sam Houston State for a three-game weekend series at North Oak Park. The series will open with a 3 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday and conclude with a 12 p.m. contest on Sunday. Live stats and video (LionVision subscription required) will be available at LionSports.net.
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