No. 6 Northwestern State Lady DemonsHost school Northwestern State is slated for a showdown in game two against Lamar, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The Lady Demons went 28-25 overall this year with a 15-12 record against conference foes. Fresh off a Southland Pitcher of the Week award, Mikayla Brown will look to dictate the pace of the game from the circle. Brown is responsible for four of Northwestern State’s eight shutout wins this season. The Lady Demons have outscored opponents by a 29-run margin due in large part to Cayla Jones and Hayley Barbazon who have combined for 74 of NSU’s 211 runs. Jones leads the squad with a .333 batting average and a .558 slugging percentage. No. 7 Lamar CardinalsThe Cardinals have a tough task in front of them as they will square off against host school Northwestern State. However, Lamar looks up to the task behind junior Jade Lewis who leads the Cards with 13 RBI, a .349 batting average and 10 doubles this season. Shannon Klaus, another threat for the Lamar offense, ranks eighth in the conference with 25 stolen bases on the year and a team-best 26 runs. No. 5 Southeastern Louisiana Lady LionsSoutheastern Louisiana will kick off the tournament with an 11 a.m. meeting against Central Arkansas Tuesday morning. SLU finished the regular season with a 17-10 Southland record. Although the Lady Lions’ path to the title will not be easy, head coach Rick Fremin and his squad are certainly capable of returning home with hardware. Ella Manzer, a two-time 2019 Southland Hitter of the Week, leads the Lady Lions with a .376 batting average. Rebecca Skains has racked up 19 doubles on the year to go along with 59 hits and a team-best 46 RBI. Stolen bases are where Southeastern Louisiana is especially dangerous as the squad ranks first in the NCAA averaging 4.06 per game. Jaquelyn Ramon has stacked 58 of the Lions’ 215 stolen bases on her own. No. 2 Nicholls ColonelsNicholls closed out their regular-season slate by winning four of their last five games for a 21-6 record in conference play. The Colonels have been menacing at the plate this season, swatting 10 triples and combining for 96 extra-base hits. Kali Clement leads Nicholls at the plate with six home runs and a .375 batting average. Megan Landry has done her share in the circle, ranking 13th in the nation and first in the conference with nine shutout victories. Landry holds a 25-10 record with 24 complete game victories and a 1.70 ERA. Of their 32 wins, Nicholls has shut out opponents in 12 contests. The Colonels’ tournament begins Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. where they will face the winner of game four. NATCHITOCHES, La. – The 2019 Southland Conference Softball Tournament opens Tuesday, May 7 at Lady Demon Diamond in Natchitoches, La., on the Northwestern State campus. First-round matchups will feature the tournament’s bottom four teams playing in a single-elimination game. Following the two opening-round matchups, the tournament will then shift to a double-elimination bracket. The No. 3 and No. 4 seeds await the winners of round one Tuesday evening. Seeds No. 1 and No. 2 have a double-round bye and await the winners of games three and game four. Entering the field with the No. 1 seed is Sam Houston State who locked up a regular-season title after winning two games against Stephen F. Austin in their final three-game series of the season over the weekend. Earning the tournament’s No. 2 seed is Nicholls who won two of their final three games against Southeastern Louisiana to close out their regular season schedule. McNeese has snatched the last three Southland Conference Tournament titles and enters the week as the tournament’s No. 3 seed, while Stephen F. Austin rounds out the tournament’s top four teams.Games 1-11 are slated to be streamed live on the Southland Digital Network, which is available via southlanddigitalnetwork.com and on Southland Conference apps. Tony Taglavore, Charlie Cavell, Jason Pugh and Patrick Netherton will share play-by-play duties.Coverage transitions to the ESPN family of networks for the championship round. Game 12 is scheduled to receive national television coverage on ESPNU, in addition to streaming availability on ESPN.com/watch and ESPN apps. Four-time Louisiana sportscaster of the year Lyn Rollins and two-time NFCA All-American Tori Vidales will call the action for the title stage. Coverage for Game 13 (if necessary) will shift to ESPN3, online-only through ESPN.com/watch and ESPN apps.No. 1 Sam Houston State Bearkats The Bearkats clinched the outright regular-season title after securing a 22-5 Southland Conference record with 2-of-3 wins against Stephen F. Austin in the final weekend of regular season play. Sam Houston State led the Southland with 34 home runs, while limiting conference opponents to a .176 batting average. Lindsey McLeod has been a force inside the circle with a conference-best 1.65 ERA. The Bearkats’ regular-season title comes in head coach Garrett Valis’ first year at the helm for Sam Houston State. The No. 1-seeded Kats await the winner of game three and will take the field Wednesday with at 11 a.m. CT. No. 8 Central Arkansas BearsCentral Arkansas rounds out the tournament field as the No. 8 seed. Kelly Crutchmer leads the Bears and ranks seventh in the country averaging .76 stolen bases per game after racking up 39 stolen bases. Libby Morris leads UCA with 99 total bases, 44 RBI and 10 home runs. No. 4 Stephen F. Austin LadyjacksStephen F. Austin kicks off their tournament Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. taking on the winner of Southeastern Louisiana and Central Arkansas. The Ladyjacks will look to contend as the tournament’s No. 4 seed after registering an 18-9 conference record. SFA’s defense has been impressive thus far with a .973 team-fielding percentage that ranks 27th nationally and first in the Southland. Freshman Kassidy Wilbur has been automatic inside the circle, ringing up a league-best 240 strikeouts, a feat that ranks 10th in the nation. Margarita Corona has played and started in all 53 games for the Ladyjacks and leads the conference with a .673 slugging percentage. No. 3 McNeese CowgirlsMcNeese will look to continue their Southland postseason success, having claimed the last three consecutive Southland Tournament titles. The Cowgirls finished the regular season with a 19-8 conference record, earning the tournament’s No. 3 seed in the process. Senior Justyce McClain leads McNeese and ranks sixth in the nation for hits (75) and stands first in the Southland with a .405 batting average. The Cowgirls will play the late game Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. against the winner of Northwestern State and Lamar.