UL Softball Loses Heartbreaker To Auburn In Super Regionals, 12-11
Louisiana's Ragin’ Cajun softball team opened up Super Regional play with a defeat on Friday afternoon, falling to the Auburn Tigers, 12-11, in 8 innings at Jane B. Moore Field in Auburn, Alabama.
Auburn, the #4-overall national seed, now leads the best-of-three game series, 1-0, one win away from their first-ever trip to the Women's College World Series, while Louisiana, the #13-national seed, and looking for their seventh appearance in Oklahoma City, will have to win game two on Saturday to force an "if necessary" game, also on Saturday.
Down 10-5, and down to their final out, Auburn drew six-consecutive walks in the bottom half of the seventh inning, to tie the game, 10-10, before coming from behind once again in the bottom half of the eighth inning, to capture the amazing victory.
Louisiana scored the first run of the game, plating a run in the top half of the first inning, when Lexie Elkins crushed a two-out solo home run to left-centerfield, her 32nd of the season, giving them a quick 1-0 lead.
Auburn tied the game with an unearned run in bottom half of the frame, when Emily Carosone reached second base after UL outfielders Kelli Martinez and Aleah Craighton collided on a routine ball, before scoring on a Kasey Cooper double, to even the score at 1-1.
The Cajuns grabbed the lead right back in the top half of the second inning, scoring three runs, when DJ Sanders singled home pinch-runner Cassidy White, who was running for Kelsey Vincent, before pinch-hitter Sara Corbello doubled home Leanda Maly and Sanders, giving them a 4-1 advantage.
The Tigers had a big opportunity in the bottom half of the second inning, loading up the bases on three consecutive walks, before coming away empty-handed, as UL continued to lead, 4-1, through two innings of play.
Auburn did manage to draw closer in the bottom half of the third inning, when Tiffany Howard drew a bases walk, bringing home Haley Fagan, to trim the UL lead to 4-2.
Louisiana extended their lead to five runs in the top of the fourth inning, when Hayden singled home Sanders, before Shellie Landry doubled home Martinez and Hayden, giving UL three two-out runs, and a 7-2 lead.
The Tigers loaded the bases for the fourth-straight inning in the bottom of the fourth, but came away empty-handed yet again, as the Cajuns continued to hold a 7-2 lead after four innings.
The Cajuns offense continued to roll in top of the fifth inning, when Vincent smashed a solo homer, her 17th of the season, to give them an 8-2 advantage.
Auburn drew to within four runs in the fifth inning, when Carasone belted a two-run homer, trimming the UL lead to 8-4.
The Tigers got another run in the bottom half of the sixth inning, when Jade Rhodes smashed a solo home run, to cut the deficit to 8-5.
Louisiana scored two more runs in the top half of the seventh, the first coming on a solo homer off the Vincent, her second of the game and 18th of the season, with Craighton adding another solo homer, her 12th of the year, and the fourth of the day for UL, to give them a 10-5 lead.
That's when the craziness of the bottom of the seventh inning took place.
Down, 10-5, in the frame, with two on and two outs, the Tigers drew six-consecutives walks to tie the game, 10-10, sending the game into extra innings.
The Cajuns retook the lead in the top of the eighth, when Hayden doubled, and later scored on a wild-pitch, giving them an 11-10 lead.
Auburn ended things in the bottom half of the inning however, scoring one run on a Kasey Cooper double, to tie it, before winning it on a ground ball off the bat pinch-hitter Whitney Jordan, as the Tigers completed one of the more memorable comebacks Super Regional history.
Louisiana, who outhit Auburn, 12-11, was led at the plate by Hayden, Vincent, Maly, and Sanders, who recorded two hits apiece, with Vincent (twice), Elkins, and Craighton all homering in a losing cause.
Auburn was paced offensively by Haley Fagan, who had three hits, with Carasone and Rhodes hitting long balls.
Lexi Davis (23-2) recorded the win in the circle for the Tigers, tossing one inning of relief, while Christina Hamilton (12-4) suffered the loss in relief for the Cajuns.
Jordan Wallace pitched 6.2 innings in the start for Louisiana, allowing 9 hits and 10 runs, while walking 13 and striking out 9.
Cajun pitching allowed a season-high 16 walks, while the defense allowed two unearned runs.
Auburn won, despite leaving 20 runners on base.
With the victory, Auburn fell to 53-9 on the season, while Louisiana fell to 42-11.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday at 11:05 am
You can hear all the play-by-play action on ESPN 1420 & espn1420.com, beginning with the pregame show at 10:45 am.
If Auburn wins, they win the Super Regional, and advance to the WCWS. If the Louisiana wins, an “if necessary” game would be played about 35 minutes following the completion of the first game.