MONROE, La. — Led by a no-hitter in the opener by pitcher Ashley Kriesel, the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks opened the season by sweeping through the ULM Tournament Friday and Saturday to begin the season with a spotless 4-0 mark.
SFA topped Southern, 3-0, in the opener, then blasted Louisiana-Monroe, 8-2, on Friday. The Ladyjacks came back on Saturday to defeat Southern for a second time, 7-1, and then blanked ULM, 12-0, in the final game.
Here's a wrapup of the tourney:
SFA 3, Southern 0 (Friday) — After Kriesel opened the top of the first inning with three strikeouts, the 'Jacks wasted little time getting her run support, as freshman Camryn Middlebrook singled to right center to score Alex Hedspeth and fellow freshman Shaylon Govan, who had walked.
Mackenzie Bennett drew a walk to open the bottom of the fifth, and scored after a pair of groundouts advanced her to third and Brittany Crawford singled to right field to make the score 3-0. Kriesel then shut the door in the sixth and seventh frames, striking out the final six Jaguars to preserve the no-hitter. She faced 23 total batters, walking one and hitting another with a pitch, but was otherwise untouched by Southern.
SFA 8, Louisiana-Monroe 2 (Fri.) — In the second game of the day, the 'Jack's bats came to life early and often, staking Kassidy Wilbur out to an early 4-0 lead. Alex Hedspeth opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly to score Bryana Novegil in the top of the first, and the 'Jacks loaded the bases in the top of the second to chase the Warhawk's starter Kassidy Givens from the game. Govan then delivered a two-run double to score Middlebrook and Madison Clements. Bennett drove in Novegil with a single to left field, and Hedspeth capped off the four-run inning with an RBI single to left field to score Govan.
An RBI single from Crawford in the top of the fifth scored Hedspeth and pushed the SFA lead to 6-0.
ULM tacked on a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth off freshman Reagan Chism, and prompting starter Kassidy Wilbur to re-take the circle and finish the game out. SFA tacked on two more insurance runs in the sixth inning, as Taylor Trosclair scored on a throwing error and Marisa Arriaga singled home Hedspeth to round out the scoring.
Wilbur went 6.1 innings in the victory, giving up three hits and walking three while striking out eight batters.
SFA 7, Southern 1 (Sat.) — SFA got its first run of the opener versus Southern on a two-out RBI, as a walk drawn by freshman Camryn Middlebrook scored Alex Hedspeth for the game's first run. After Jordan Llinas retired the Jaguars in the bottom of the inning, the 'Jacks struck again in the top of the second frame, as Marisa Arriaga tripled to right center to drive in Bryana Novegil, and then was summarily driven in herself by a Shaylon Govan double to make the score 3-0.
Llinas earned the win in the circle, throwing five strong shutout innings with five strikeouts. She allowed three hits and walked three batters. Katie Hartwell pitched a pair of innings in relief, striking out a pair and giving up on run.
SFA 12, Louisiana-Monroe 0 (Sat.) — SFA would run-rule the host Warhawks in the second game of Saturday's action, needing just five innings to hang 12 runs on the scoreboard. Marisa Arriaga opened the scoring with a two-RBI single to right field to score Hedspeth and Govan, before coming around to score herself on a base knock by Middlebrook.
In the second inning, the 'Jacks struck again, as Novegil drove in two with an RBI single of her own to score Madison Clements and Bailey Richards, upping the lead to 5-0. Hedspeth's RBI single to shortstop in the fourth brought home Novegil to round the scoring at 6-0, but the 'Jacks weren't finish in the frame. Kylie Hunt drove in Repa on a fielder's choice, and Brittany Crawford singled home Hunt to make it 8-0.
Just a day after setting a school record with 19 strikeouts in her opening no-hitter performance, Ashley Kriesel was dominant in the circle yet again, striking out seven while allowing just one hit and walking four. She earned the win with her four innings pitched, while Reagan Chism pitched a scoreless fifth inning in relief, striking out one.