31 May

First Pitch Tuesday for 2018 Southland Softball Tournament

first_imgThe tournament features the league’s top eight teams for the first time in 30 years, switching from a six-team format, and begins with a four-team first round Tuesday between the bottom four seeds. The winners of the first two games will join the top four Southland teams in a traditional six-team, double-elimination bracket for the remainder of the tourney. No. 6 Abilene Christian WildcatsAbilene Christian makes its Southland Conference Tournament debut in its first season eligible since transitioning to Division I. The Wildcats produced an All-Conference First Team selection in senior Hannah Null, who has tossed 213.1 innings so far this season and striking out 187 batters in 39 appearances. They also are one of two teams this year to have a four-time all-conference selection as senior Peyton Hedrick was voted onto the second team at shortstop. Designated Player Alyson Bishoff and outfielder Donelle Johnson also earned third team selections. They will challenge No. 7 Northwestern State at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Games 1-11 will be streamed live on the Southland Digital Network with Richard Dow, Bruce Merchant and Tony Taglavore sharing play-by-play duties. The games will be available via southland.org/live and Southland Conference apps. Coverage shifts to the ESPN family of networks for the championship round. Game 12 will be televised nationwide on ESPNU with Lincoln Rose and former Southeastern Louisiana pitcher Kati Morse on the call. If Game 13 is necessary, action will move to ESPN3. In both cases, streaming coverage is available from WatchESPN.com and ESPN apps. No. 4 Southeastern Louisiana LionsSoutheastern Louisiana returns to the tournament for the first time since 2015 on a record year for the program, setting its season-season school record for overall and conference victories. The Lions lead the nation in stolen bases and broke their program’s record for runs (294), triples (18) and hits (50). SLU picked up a second-team All-Conference selection in Kinsey Nichols and third-team honorees in third baseman Mahalia Gibson, outfielder Ali McCoy and pitcher Rachel Hayes. They take on the winner of No. 5 Central Arkansas and No. 8 Sam Houston State on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Nicholls claimed its first regular-season title since 1996 and enter the tournament as the top-seeded team. The Colonels are coming off a tournament final appearance in 2017. After missing out on the postseason last year, Stephen F. Austin won the Southland West Division title and the No. 2 seed. No. 1 Nicholls ColonelsNicholls last lifted the Southland Tournament trophy in 1997, picking up a consecutive championship after winning the title in 1996 to complete the regular season and tournament sweep. The Colonels are backed by Pitcher of the Year Megan Landry, Freshman of the Year Jewel Lara and Newcomer of the Year Kali Clement. Coach of the Year Angel Santiago also saw his squad garner three additional first-team all-conference selections, another second-team member and a third-team honoree. The team led the league in batting average (.323) and earned run average (2.23) and will start its 2018 tournament campaign Wednesday at 11 a.m. Back-to-back tournament champion McNeese enters this week as the No. 3 seed and searches for the tournament three-peat. The Cowgirls would become the first Southland school to win three consecutive tournament championships. No. 8 Sam Houston State BearkatsSam Houston State needed a sweep in the last series of the regular season to clinch the final spot in the 2018 Southland Conference Tournament. Junior pitcher Lindsey McLeod paces the team, earning an All-Conference Second Team nod for her work in the circle this season. The junior from Austin, Texas, led the league in strikeouts with 201, ringing up at least 10 strikeouts seven times this year. Sam Houston enters the tournament with the highest fielding percentage in league games (.975). No. 2 Stephen F. Austin LadyjacksStephen F. Austin will enjoy a day one break in the tournament before its first pitch Wednesday at 1 p.m. The Ladyjacks are led by First-Team All-Conference selection Amber Landry, a senior third baseman from Ponchatoula, La., and second-team members Taylor Fraccastoro and pitcher Makayla Sikes. Landry owned a .320 batting average with 54 hits and a team-high 45 RBIs. Fraccastoro is the top slugger for SFA with a .592 average while Sikes has the third-best ERA in the conference at 2.11. No. 5 Central Arkansas BearsCentral Arkansas opens the tournament with an 11 a.m. elimination contest against Sam Houston State. The Bears have three all-conference members in second baseman Libby Morris, first baseman Kaylyn Shepherd and right fielder Morgan Felts. Each of them earned third team honors. UCA heads into Lake Charles following a series win over Northwestern State this past weekend. The team is searching for its first tournament championship since 2015. TOURNAMENT CENTRALLAKE CHARLES, La. – The 2018 Southland Conference Softball Tournament starts Tuesday at Joe Miller Field in Lake Charles, La., hosted by McNeese. No. 3 McNeeses CowgirlsAlthough falling short of its third-straight regular season championship, McNeese still had another strong season in the diamond. Erika Piancastelli won her fourth Player of the Year award along with her fourth Hitter of the Year award. The Cowgirls also garnered three other first-team all-conference selections. The team ranks first in Southland action for slugging percentage (.523), on base percentage (.427), runs scored (167) and home runs (28). They will await the winner between No. 6 Abilene Christian and No. 7 Northwestern State for a 6:30 p.m. game tomorrow. No. 7 Northwestern State Lady DemonsNorthwestern State first have to get through the opening round elimination game against No. 6 Abilene Christian to continue its hopes of winning its first tournament title since doing so in 2013 and 2014. The Lady Demons took two of three when the two teams met earlier this year. Sophomore catcher Emma Hawthorne goes into Tuesday’s game coming off a career-high six RBIs in Saturday’s regular season finale against Central Arkansas. The Lady Demons earned All-Conference selections in first team second baseman Cayla Jones, second team outfielder Sidney Salmans and third team utility player Kaitlyn St. Clair.last_img read more

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26 Nov

IPL 2016: Sunil Narine yet to recover from finger injury, says Piyush Chawla

first_imgKolkata Knight Riders leg-spinner Piyush Chawla has said it might take some more time for Sunil Narine to get back into the playing XI as the West Indies mystery spinner was yet to recover from an injury to his bowling hand.  The two-time former champions’ most successful bowler, Narine, missed a second match against Gujarat Lions on Sunday.”He’s not yet fully fit. He has injury on his spinning finger. We will have to wait,” Chawla said after the match.Gujarat Lions go topThe Knight Riders lost to Lions by five wickets at Eden Gardens on Sunday. With the win, the Lions moved to the top of the points table with seven wins from 11 outings.Chawla said Gujarat got the advantage of bowling on a fresh wicket.”Wicket was good and maybe because of the last night’s rain it was fresh and seaming a bit during the first innings. They got the advantage of first wicket,” Chawla said.In a splendid display of seam bowling, Praveen Kumar (2 for 19), Dhawal Kulkarni (1 for 30) and Dwayne Smith (1 for 14) reduced Kolkata to 24 for 4 in 5.5 overs before they recovered to post 158 for 4 but the total proved insufficient.”We lost a few early wickets but recovered well. They batted really well. I don’t think many things went wrong, it’s just that they played better cricket,” Chawla said.Death bowling a concern?”First few games, we didn’t bowl well in death. But in the last game against KXIP we defended really well. In this game, they just needed run a ball at one point of time and we could not do much. It’s not that like that. In this format, you’re bound to go for few runs,” Chawla said.advertisementLot of positivesFrom being at the top of the table, Kolkata slipped to third place after the loss and they still have to win two out of four matches to qualify for the playoffs but Chawla chose to look at the positives.”There’s a lot to take. Shakib batted really well and Yusuf too was hitting well in last few games. He went in a difficult situation and paced his innings really well. It was tremendous to watch,” he said.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

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