The 2019 Division I college softball season started this week and a trio of pitchers wasted no time in showing off their best stuff.
On Friday, three teams — LSU, Jacksonville State and Louisiana — were led by no-hitters to secure early season victories.
One of those no-no’s was thrown by Shelby Wickersham, a freshman who was making her collegiate debut. A 5-foot-10 right-hander from Metairie, Louisiana, Wickersham faced 19 Iowa batters over five innings, walking two and striking out another two. LSU won 9-0 in walk-off fashion in Baton Rouge, as Shelbi Sunseri hit a 3-run home run.
Wickersham is the sixth freshman in LSU history to throw a no-hitter. She is the daughter of former Tigers’ quarterback Jeff Wickersham, who threw for 6,921 yards and scored 34 total touchdowns from 1982 to 1985.
Elsewhere in the state of Louisiana, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns notched their second win of the season behind a no-hitter from freshman pitcher Kandra Lamb. The 6-foot-2 native of Australia fanned five of the Incarnate Word batters she faced, en route to an 11-0 win in five innings.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are now 3-0 this season and have yet to allow a run.
📹 One of the many highlight performances of the day was Kandra Lamb tossing a no-hitter in her collegiate debut.— Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns® Softball (@RaginCajunsSB) February 9, 2019
👀Here's a look at the final pitch of her special moment.#GeauxCajuns ⚜️ pic.twitter.com/M4F8upsTy3
Faith Sims of Jacksonville State tossed Friday’s third no-hitter, but she had to put a little more work in than Wickersham and Lamb. Sims, a 5-foot-11 senior from Jasper, Alabama, went the distance of seven innings to hold Army hitless for the Gamecocks first win of the season. Sims faced 24 batters, struck out nine of them and hit two with a pitch in a 6-0 victory.
It was the first no-hitter of Sims’ career, and the first seven-inning no-hitter tossed by a Gamecocks’ pitcher since March 18, 2012. It was also the first opening day no-no thrown by a Jacksonville State pitcher since 2014.
The Gamecocks followed Sims’ stellar performance up with their second win of the day, taking down Rutgers 11-2 in six innings in Macon, Georgia.
🥎 AN OPENING DAY NO-HITTER!! 🥎 @faithy_2 K's 9 and allows just 2 baserunners in her 1st career No-No! JSU opens 2019 with a 6-0 win over Army! It's JSU's 1st 7-inning no-no since Tiffany Harbin vs Murray St on 3/18/12! @OVCSports @NCAAsoftball @NFCAorg pic.twitter.com/k2SvWCa5aB— JSU Softball (@JSUGamecocksSB) February 8, 2019
Mitchell Northam is a graduate of Salisbury University. His work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Orlando Sentinel, SB Nation, FanSided, USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times. He grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore and is now based in Durham, N.C.