NATCHITOCHES, La (NSU) - Mikayla Brown faced the minimum number of batters and twirled a one-hitter Saturday to highlight a pair of Northwestern State shutouts to kick off the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission Lady Demon Classic.
Brown (1-0) topped Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 4-0, in her first shutout since May 5, 2017 (Central Arkansas).
Junior Samantha Guile pitched the second shutout in an 8-0 win against Houston Baptist in the nightcap.
The Lady Demons (6-6) will play HBU (12:30 p.m.) and UAPB (3 p.m.) to finish the Lady Demon Classic.
NSU 4, UAPB 0
Brown allowed just a single in the third inning, but UAPB’s Tamira Chatman was thrown out at second base on the play.
The senior struck out a season-high eight batters and lowered her season ERA to 1.88. She retired eight batters before the single and 12 straight batters after the single.
“It was awesome going out there like that, and I have the confidence that I didn’t have a few years ago,” Brown said. “It makes me more confident (to have a lot of pitching options on the NSU staff) because I don’t have so much pressure on me.
“I know that they have my back if I can’t do it, or I have theirs if they can’t do it.”
NSU scored single runs in four of the first five innings, but the Lady Demons could have had more with six left on.
NSU manufactured a pair of runs in the first two innings on a Riley Cantrell sacrifice fly and an E.C. Delafield double steal for a 2-0 edge.
Cayla Jones hit the first of her two home runs on the day in the third inning, and the solo shot handed the Lady Demons a 3-0 advantage.
Freshman Alexis Perry blasted her second home run of the season with a solo home run.
UAPB’s Juliana Dominguez allowed the Golden Lions to hang around by scattering eight NSU hits with four runs and one walk.
NSU 8, HBU 0 (6 inn.)
The NSU offense cranked up in the second game, taking advantage of 11 walks in the six-inning win.
Junior Toni Hebert pinch hit with the bases loaded and drew the walk-off walk to end the game.
The Lady Demons scored four runs in the first three innings, but Cayla Jones hit her second homer of the night to break the game open.
Her three-run home run scored Sidney Harris (walked) and Hayley Barbazon (single) to put NSU up 7-0.
“No matter what I do, it’s always a really good feeling to help the team,” Jones said. “I just love being a spark and get us rolling.
“It’s so cool being a part of this lineup, and the coolest part is no one knows about all of these cool freshmen we have, and that’s the best part. We have so much depth, it doesn’t matter what you do to one batter because the next one is going to back them up.”
The Lady Demons struck first with an Alexis Perry two-RBI single. She played Barbazon (walk) and Jones (walk) for a 2-0 edge.
Perry went 3-for-3 with a run scored and two RBIs.
A Kaitlyn St. Clair RBI double in the second inning scored Barbazon (walked) for a 3-0 lead.
Barbazon drew a total of three walks, including a bases-loaded RBI walk in the third inning (4-0 edge).
The run support was more than enough for Guile (2-3), who allowed just three hits and four walks in the win.
Guile struck out six in her first win at home, lasting 5 1/3 innings before running into sixth-inning trouble.
After a one-out walk, freshman Bronte Rhoden recorded the final two outs while giving up a single to seal the win.
For HBU, starter Jessica Patak (1-3) allowed three runs on two hits and five walks in 1 1/3 innings. Reliever Emma Guindon allowed five runs on seven hits and six walks.