Tournament Central | Live Video and Replays | Bracket | PhotosNATCHITOCHES, La. – Day one of the 2019 Southland Conference Tournament is in the books as No. 5 seed Southeastern Louisiana and No. 6 seed Northwestern State advance to the third round of play with two wins each, following a pair of opening-round victories at Lady Demon Diamond in Natchitoches, La. SLU will now face No. 1 Sam Houston State Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. CT, while Northwestern State and No. 2 Nicholls will meet for an 11:30 a.m. showdown. Following opening-round losses, No. 4 Stephen F. Austin and No. 3 McNeese fall into the elimination bracket.Game One | No. 5 Southeastern Louisiana – 7 vs. No. 8 Central Arkansas – 6 (Box Score)Seven innings were not enough to decide a winner in the opening game between No. 5 Southeastern Louisiana and No. 8 Central Arkansas. SLU ultimately outlasted the Bears and advanced to the second round with a 7-6 victory. Jaquelyn Ramon sparked the Lady Lion offense from the very beginning, hitting a single before stealing second base. After advancing to third, Ramon was driven home on a sacrifice fly from Mima Doucet that placed SLU ahead 1-0. Game Three | No. 5 Southeastern Louisiana – 2 vs. No. 4 Stephen F. Austin – 0 (Box Score)A pitcher’s duel was on display in game three between No. 4 Stephen F. Austin and No. 5 Southeastern Louisiana. SFA’s Kassidy Wilbur and right-handed SLU pitcher Karlee Kraft battled in the circle for eight innings before Madison Watson crushed a two-run homer over center field to push the Lady Lions to a 2-0 win. The teams held each other scoreless over the fourth and fifth innings but Northwestern State provided one final run for assurance in the bottom of the sixth after a single from Kaitlyn St. Clair was driven to the Lamar shortstop. Kayla Roquemore crossed the plate for NSU’s final run after entering the game to pinch run for Alexis Perry.In a last-ditch effort with two outs, Lamar entered Taylor Davis to pinch hit for Kimberly Mattox but were unable to capitalize. Northwestern State’s E.C. Delafield earned her 10th win of the season and moved to a 10-3 record after allowing just two hits in the game.With the win, Northwestern State advanced to the second round to face No. 3 McNeese in game three of the tournament. The Lady Demons escaped the single-elimination portion of play and will compete in double-elimination matches for the remainder of their tournament. The two squads played to a stalemate over the next three innings until Central Arkansas’ Tyla Vernon gave the Bears their first run after a single from Reagan Sperling. Rebecca Skains then concluded a four-run explosion for Southeastern Louisiana with a two-run home run shot over center field that put the Lady Lions up 5-2.Central Arkansas found a rhythm on offense and fought its way back, tying the score at 5-5 with three runs in the top of the sixth inning. SLU regained its footing in the bottom of the sixth with a run from Lindsey Rizzo but the lead was short lived as UCA’s Oakley Sisemore scored on a single to center field from Sperling later in the inning.The Lady Lions finally retired the Bears in the seventh inning but were subsequently sat down in order, forcing an eighth inning of play. Central Arkansas placed a runner on second but was unable to capitalize on the play.With the count at 2-2, Southeastern Louisiana’s Madisen Blackford found her way on base with a single up the middle. On the very next play, Blackford advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Bobbi Smith. With one runner on, Ramon stepped up to the plate looking to provide the late-game heroics for the Lady Lions. Set for the bunt, Ramon connected and dashed down the first-base line, beating the throw and allowing Blackford to score the game-winning run.Game Two | No. 6 Northwestern State – 4 vs. No. 7 Lamar – 0 (Box Score)No. 6 Northwestern State advanced to the second round, escaping single-elimination play with a 4-0 win over No. 7 Lamar. After opening the game with two scoreless innings, the Lady Demons vaulted to a 3-0 lead after Cayla Jones sent a shot over the right center field fence. Facing a full count with runners on first and second, Jones connected on the seventh pitch for the three-RBI homer. Wilbur struck out eight Southeastern Louisiana batters on the way to a 1.56 ERA in the game for the Ladyjacks. Margarita Corona led the SFA offense with a pair of hits, including a double down the right-field line in the first inning.Kraft was aided by an impeccable defense that forced the Ladyjacks into 16 flyouts and 10 groundouts in the game. The Lady Lions finished the contest with seven hits and three stolen bases in the victory as Kraft improved to a 5-1 record.Stephen F. Austin will play again Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. CT against loser of game six between Nicholls and Northwestern State.Southeastern Louisiana will now face top-seeded Sam Houston State in game five, beginning Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. The winner will advance to the semifinal contest.Game Four | No. 3 McNeese – 3 vs. No. 6 Northwestern State – 4 (Box Score)No. 6 Northwestern State stunned No. 3 McNeese 4-3 in a seven-inning affair Tuesday evening to conclude day one of the Southland Tournament. The Lady Demons and the Cowgirls combined for 15 hits in the contest. Heading into the day, McNeese had not lost in a Southland Tournament game since a 2015 loss to Southeastern Louisiana.McNeese jumped out to an early 2-1 lead, scoring a run in each of the first two innings. NSU leveled the score at 2-2 in the third inning after Elise Vincent cracked a triple down the left field line. Vincent was brought home on the very next play as Cayla Jones sent an RBI single toward the McNeese shortstop. The Cowgirls took the lead once again in the bottom of the fifth after Kaylee Lopez doubled to left field, allowing Justyce McClain to cross home plate. Northwestern State responded in the very next inning by loading the bases with three of their first four batters. With the bases loaded, Riley Cantrell knocked a single into the right field gap for NSU to bring the game even at 3-3. Maggie Black then stepped up to the plate and sent a single of her own into right field to bring Kaitlyn St. Clair in and put the Lady Demons up for the final time of the night at 4-3.Northwestern State sealed the victory over the Cowgirls with three-straight outs in the bottom of the seventh. The Lady Demons remain unbeaten in tournament play and will now take on No. 2 Nicholls Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m.The loss drops McNeese into game seven where it will take on the loser between Sam Houston State and Southeastern Louisiana.
Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling On signing players late in the season and why the Cardinals have had success with it:“Yeah, there’s always a need, and when you’re bringing them in early, you’re getting people to fit what you want, personality-wise and ability-wise. Antoine Bethea, we knew he was a good player. He’s also a great leader. Tramon (Williams) was the same way, and when you’re late, mostly it’s need, and is there someone available that can actually play. You’re really struggling when you’re just getting guys off the street and you have to play them on Sunday. I’ve been down that road, and that ain’t fun.”On what he saw from CB Tramon Williams during the three weeks when he either wasn’t active or didn’t play:“It was just he had a role, but with the injuries and the way everything went, we had to pick a guy to be inactive, and I hated to do it, because he was playing. And, every week, we talked about getting him more playing time. So, now he’ll get a bunch.”On getting a lot of production from several different safeties throughout the years:“They’re very well coached by a veteran coach in (defensive backs coach) Nick Rapone, and they’ve all been scheme fits, going all the way to Yeremiah Bell. Each guy, each year is a scheme fit for what we want to do.” Like I said, we’re very excited. Obviously, it’s a very big game, a division game. It’s the first time that we’ve faced the Rams this year, and they’re playing extremely well. And, we got here safe and sound, looking forward to getting a good practice in today.”On the balance the run game has provided the offense and if the coaching staff is changing their approach after RB Adrian Peterson’s arrival:“No, we haven’t changed anything. It’s the same plays, same practice schedules and everything is identical. We’re not putting in different runs for him. He likes what we do. That’s one of the reasons we got him, and it’s just keeping him up to speed in the passing game.”On if Peterson has allowed him to be more creative with the play calling:“No, no. If anything, it’s more conservative.”On how the team stays focused after a long trip:“Yeah, that’s the big thing. Our process, that we call it, every day – Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays – to not let anything be a distraction, because it is such a big game. So, we’ve talked a lot about that and talked to people about how to handle this trip and get physically ready to play on Sunday.”On his judgment of the trip so far: “Just traveling, busses to practice and everything else. Unlike when we went to the Greenbrier, everything was right there. So, we’ve rescheduled our practices later in the afternoon, meetings in the evenings that we never normally do.”On if he has seen more focus from his players this week:“I haven’t seen them, no. We had one meeting this morning, and they were awake, anyway.”On if the flight affected any of the players dealing with injury:“No, we’ll wait to see them run around some. I don’t think Pat (Patrick Peterson) will do anything today, nor will Xavier (Williams). I think that’s it. Olsen Pierre, I think, is going to do something.”On what makes playing football games in London unique:“Having not done one, I know the crowd is very different, a very loud crowd that doesn’t ever change sides very often. They’re just loud, and that’s (according to) everyone I’ve talked to. I’m looking forward to that.”On the Rams leaving Florida for London on Friday and any differences in travel strategy between the two teams:“The teams that I’ve talked to that have done both, most were more successful coming early and getting acclimated to the time. I know they’re staying in Florida. They’re not going back to Los Angeles, which breaks the trip up some.” 0 Comments Share Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fifth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media several times leading up to gameday.Here, in this space, with help from the Cardinals’ media relations staff, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters following practice in London as Arizona prepares to face the Los Angeles Rams in Twickenham Stadium.Opening statement:“Obviously, we’re very excited about being here and know how much this game has grown. I hate that we lost (American, British-based sports broadcaster) Kevin Cadle, who I know was very instrumental in everything happening in London. I know you all miss him, and we’ll all miss him very, very much. On if the defense highlights the safety position and relies on them to make plays:“If you’re playing safety, you better be able to. You better be able to tackle, and we blitz our safeties a lot, so they should be able to make splash plays.”On if S Tyrann Mathieu is playing like the 2015 version of himself:“No. healthy-wise, he is, but he’s not playing like it yet.”On if Mathieu’s performance is confidence related:“Probably. Probably.”On RB Adrian Peterson’s third time playing in London and what he had learned from Peterson about the trip:“Yeah, we talked to him a little bit about coming over, because he was just here – about the grass and which shoes and all the little things that go into it. And, he guaranteed us that everything is first class at the hotel, the facilities, everything’s great. So, it was easy, because I had talked to his coach a long time about it, and then to have a guy who actually did it as a player was very comforting.”On if his body has adjusted to the time change:“No, not yet. Getting there. Getting there.”On why the game has grown in London:“I don’t know. The crowds, they sell out the games so fast, and every year, it gets bigger and better, and it’s great to see, to see that the non-traditional football fans love American football.” Top Stories On if he senses a different confidence level after the win last week:“Yeah, there’s no doubt. Like I said, I haven’t been around the guys that much yet, but you could tell in the locker room and then Monday’s meetings that there was a really good feeling.”On the challenges of a struggling offense given his offensive background:“You take that personal, because that’s something we’ve always been able to do, and it was us shooting ourselves in the foot, more than anything.”On if he encourages or discourages players to see London and take in the sights:“Well, if they want to see London, come in March. We’re here to win.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo On how many teams he talked to about the trip to London:“Four or five.”On how this Rams team is different than ones he has coached against:“The bodies are the same, but the structure of the defense is totally different. They’re still very aggressive. (Defensive Coordinator) Wade Phillips is one of the best coaches there is, and Robert Quinn, Aaron Donald and Alec Ogletree, they’re all the same guys, but they’re in different structures — but still very dangerous. Offensively, they totally revamped their offense – offensive line, receivers, tight ends – but they still have that young running back that’s great, and their quarterback has fit in very well, because they do have a good running game now.”On the practice facility:“I have not been out there yet. Everything so far has been fantastic.”On the biggest difference in Rams QB Jared Goff from last year:“He’s got a running game, and he’s not getting hit every play. They’re playing from ahead, instead of from behind, which is huge for a young quarterback.”On the jump quarterbacks make from year one to year two:“If they’re going to make it, they better make it the second one, because they’ve got all that baptism by fire in that first one. So, if they’re going to make it – and it looks like he’s going to make it to be a good one – he’s making it this year.” (AP Photo) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact