Lady Tigers open SWAC Softball Tournament this morning; Grambling roundup

Pitcher Payton Shells made the All-SWAC team announced Monday. Photo by TAYTAPES870

Staff report

Grambling’s softball team set a program high with 10 Southwestern Athletic Conference wins in the regular season. They’re looking for a few more as the SWAC Tournament begins with the Lady Tigers in the opener at 9 a.m. today in Gulfport, Misssissippi.

Grambling (13-16, 10-8) will meet Alabama State (15-27, 10-8) in a first-rounder. The winner moves to a 3 p.m. Wednesday second-round game against either regular season champion Texas Southern (13-5 in SWAC play) or Alcorn State. The loser meets the loser of that contest at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

The double-elimination tournament appears highly competitive as each of the eight qualifiers have lost five or more league games.

All tournament games will be streamed live on the SWAC Digital Network through

Redshirt freshman pitcher Payton Shells was a second-team All-SWAC selection, the only player from Grambling recognized. She was 5-2 with a save in conference competition (6-4 overall) and carries a 3.55 ERA, striking out 29 in 61.2 innings.

Shells has won her last six decisions.

BASEBALL: Grambling’s non-conference doubleheader at Dallas Baptist slated for today was cancelled Monday with the expectation of bad weather in the DFW metro area.

The G-Men (15-25, 12-9) are done with their SWAC schedule and apparently will not play again until the conference tournament cranks up May 19.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Lady Tigers coach Freddie Murray announced Monday the addition of five transfers – three from Division I programs and two junior college players – adding to three more signees added in the early signing period last November, helping restock his roster.

The D-I transfers are topped by 5-11 guard Ciera Ellington from Loyola Marymount, where she averaged 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds and was 19th in scoring in the West Coast Conference. Closer to home: UAPB forward Trasity Totten, who scored in double figures 20 times and had one double-double last season, although she averaged only 6.8 points and 4.2 rebounds; and 6-2 center Ashanti Lavergne of South Alabama, a Baton Rouge native.

Backcourt mates at Coahoma Community College who each scored in double figures for a Mississippi Athletic Community College Conference co-championship team are headed to Grambling. Jurnee McLaurin was the MACCC North Player of the Year after scoring 19 points per game, and the 5-8 guard added 4.2 rebounds per contest. Mary Wilkins, a 5-11 guard, added 10 points and five rebounds in her two years and was a first-team All-MACCC North selection.

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