Hawks advance in 2A regional behind Nicholson’s gem

COLFAX – Brittany Nicholson didn’t pitch in the final three regular season games because of a lingering arm ailment that has plagued her throughout the campaign.

But with her season – and her career – on the line, Nicholson wasn’t about to let a little pain keep her out of the circle here last night.

Nicholson, a senior right hander, showed no signs of rust in authoring a complete-game shutout that featured eight strikeouts, as she helped to shuttle South Hamilton past Colfax-Mingo, 1-0, in a Class 2A Region 6 first-round game.

The victory – the first in the postseason for all of the players on the Hawks’ roster – sends South Hamilton (10-20) to Traer tonight for a quarterfinal-round game against host North Tama (16-10) at 7 p.m.

“None of these girls had ever experienced a regional win before, so we definitely came out to play on a mission,” South Hamilton head coach Laura Read said. “We pretty much kept them in control … (Nicholson) worked from ahead really well.”

Both teams managed just three hits.

Kayla Lucas scored the only run South Hamilton would need in the opening inning. She led-off the game with a single and then flew around the bases when twin sister, Kali, laid down a sacrifice bunt; an errant throw got by Colfax-Mingo (17-16) at first and in right field and allowed Kayla Lucas to score easily.

Nicholson and Ella Jans also singled for the Hawks, who beat the Tigerhawks for the second time in three tries this season.

Tonight will be the first meeting of the season between South Hamilton and North Tama. The Redhawks received a first-round bye.