GRAMBLING – Northwestern State waited for its pitch on Tuesday night, and when it came, took full advantage of it in a 9-1 road win against Grambling.
The Lady Demons (20-17) drew 10 walks in the game, six from the combination of Ashlyn Walker and Bailie Ragsdale, making the six doubles, three off the bat of Taylor Williams, in the game that much more impactful in the big win.
NSU scored five of its nine runs on four of the six two-baggers in the game. The six doubles were the most in a game since 2021 and the 10 walks were the most since NSU walked 11 times in two different games during the 2019 season.
Kat Marshall hit NSU’s first double of the day to start the second inning, and while it didn’t drive in a run it set up the first run later in the inning. Three straight walks to the final three batters in the order put the Demons up 1-0. Walker drew the first of her three walks on the day to earn the first of her two RBIs in the game.
The Tigers got the run back in the bottom of the inning, after a double of their own, NSU had an immediate answer in the third.
Williams started the third with a double to dead center and used her speed and aggression to score on a soft groundout to the pitcher two batters later, sliding in under tag on the return throw from first base to put the Demons back on top.
She cashed in two walks an inning later with her second double in as many at bats, splitting the gap in left center to make it a 4-1 NSU lead.
“I felt good at the plate today,” Williams said. “I put in some extra work and definitely just trusted my swing and tried to really see the ball. We were all pretty patient at the plate today and when she gave me a good pitch that I could drive I was fortunate to put a good swing on it and get them in.”
Marshall finished off the Demons’ first crooked number inning of the game with an RBI single through the left side to make it a 5-1 game.
By that time starting pitcher Maggie Darr had fully settled into the game, after allowing three hits and a run in the first two innings. She struck out a pair in the third and didn’t allow a hit through the remainder of her six innings of work.
Darr earned her 11th victory of the season and surpassed the 100-strikeout mark for the season, both career highs for the redshirt sophomore, getting eight punchouts on the day, one off her season best.
NSU added a quartet of insurance runs in the top of the seventh, hitting three of their six doubles in the game a four-batter stretch. Walker reached base for the fourth time on the day with an RBI double down the line in right, Williams hit her third to trade places with Walker and Keely Dubois followed with her conference-leading 12th two-bagger, coming in to score after a throwing error from centerfield.
Williams and Dubois each finished the game with three hits, Marshall added a pair and seven different players scored a run for NSU in the game.
The Demons return to Southland Conference play this weekend when they travel to UIW for a three-game series beginning on Friday afternoon.