UL Softball Falls In SBC Tournament Title Game To South Alabama, 2-0
The 10th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun softball team fell in the finals of the the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Saturday afternoon, dropping a 2-0 decision to the 22nd-ranked South Alabama Jaguars in San Marcos, Texas.
South Alabama scored two unearned in the top half of the seventh inning, and then kept Louisiana from scoring, after the Cajuns had loaded the bases in the bottom half of the frame, to capture the two-run victory.
For the Jaguars, it's their second tournament championship, while the Cajuns were denied in their bid for their 13th.
The win gives South Alabama an automatic bid into the NCAA Regionals, which will be played next weekend, while Louisiana will still almost certainly receive an at-large bid, as well as be named a regional host team.
In a scoreless game through six innings, South Alabama scored two unearned runs in the top of the seventh, when Amanda Minahan drew a two-out walk, moved to second on a singe off the bat of Blair Johnson, and then went to third on a walk by Amanda Herron.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Alyssa Lin reached on a ground ball that was misplayed by UL first baseman Kelsey Vincent, scoring Minahan, to break the scoring ice and give the Jaguars a 1-0 lead.
Emily Messer then drew a bases loaded walk, scoring another run, to give USA a 2-0 advantage heading into the bottom half of the frame.
The Cajuns loaded the bases in the bottom half of the seventh inning, all on walks, before Samantha Walsh bounced back to the pitcher, ending the game, and securing the win for South Alabama.
With the loss, Louisiana ended the season winning three of five meetings against South Alabama.
Devin Brown (10-4), who pitched seven full shutout innings in relief of the starter Farish Beard, recorded the win in the circle for the Jaguars, allowing only five hits, while Jordan Wallace (16-5) suffered the tough luck loss for the Cajuns, allowing only three hits and no earned runs, while striking out seven hitters.
For UL, it was only their 8th loss in 58 Sun Belt Conference games, and their fourth against USA in seven match-ups.
With the victory, South Alabama improves to 38-11 on the season, while Louisiana fell to 39-9.
The NCAA Regional field will be announced on Sunday night.