Last Modified: Saturday, May 04, 2013 10:04 PM
THIBODAUX — It was more like a shove in the right direction than a step, but the Cowgirls will take it.
While the opening game of their series against Nicholls State was canceled because of unplayable field conditions, the McNeese State softball team still had a winning day.
The two teams chasing the Cowgirls for a Southland Conference championship heading into this final weekend of the regular season split a doubleheader, moving McNeese State closer to its first outright league title in 30 years.
Sam Houston State knocked off Northwestern State 8-2 in the nightcap of their twinbill after having lost the opener 5-4 in nine innings. That means McNeese is one win away from its first solo title since 1983, the first year the conference awarded championship.
“That has always been our first goal,” said head coach Mike Smith before the Cowgirls left for Thibodaux.
Now they are closer. While Sam Houston and Northwestern State will finish off their series today, McNeese will play two games against Nicholls starting at noon.
McNeese owns a one-game lead on the Demons and the tiebreaker. The only way the Cowgirls won’t win the title is if Northwestern State wins and the Cowgirls get swept.
At stake is the top seed in the SLC tournament, which will be played next weekend at Northwestern State.
“We also want to go into the tournament with momentum,” Smith said.
Both McNeese and Northwestern have earned first-round byes in the six-team tournament. The winner earns an automatic NCAA berth.