Howell’s arm, Jones’ bat lifts NSU to win at Grambling
GRAMBLING – Pitcher Jensen Howell just missed her first shutout as a Northwestern State member Tuesday, but Howell’s strong outing led the Lady Demons to a 3-1 win at Grambling.
Howell struck out a career-high 10 batters and held the Lady Tigers (3-11) to just two hits and one hit batter.
Both of those hits came in the fifth inning as Grambling manufactured a run.
“I felt pretty good the first part of the game, but when Grambling finally did get on, I wasn’t too happy about it,” Howell said. “But we got out of it, and I felt better about the situation.”
Howell (6-3) has wins in four of her last five outings as NSU (12-7) has won six of its last eight games.
Junior Cayla Jones supplied the majority of the offense, accounting for both of NSU’s RBIs.
After Elise Vincent scored on a passed ball in the first inning, Jones knocked in Vincent in the third inning for a 2-0 lead.
Jones followed that with her second home run of the season, a deep ball to left center field, for the 3-0 edge.
“We grinded one out, and we got good pitching from the circle,” Pickett said. “It’s good to see Cayla Jones up there driving the ball and hitting for power.
“We hit some balls hard with people on base, but Grambling made some really good defensive plays. I wish we would have had a little more consistency at the plate, and we let some at-bats slip away today. We’ve got to use count leverage a little better and approach it a little better.”
Jones batted 2-for-3 with the two RBIs, her third multi-RBI game of the season.
“It’s about being mentally in it and trusting my abilities, and I did that today,” Jones said. “It wasn’t very pretty. We didn’t do everything we wanted to do. But we focused on getting a win on the road.”
Grambling pitcher Ja’lynn Bonner surrendered just four hits with no walks in the circle.
NSU starts Southland Conference play Friday with a doubleheader against defending champion Sam Houston State.
CUTLINE: Jensen Howell struck out a career-best 10 batters in a 3-1 win at Grambling.
CREDIT: Beverly Vincent/NSU Photographic Services