UL Softball Smashes Georgia St., 10-2
The 10th-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajun softball team captured their first postseason win on Thursday afternoon, defeating the Georgia St. Panthers, 10-2, in a winners bracket contest in the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Tournament in San Marcos, Texas.
Louisiana, the regular season champion and top-seed, drew an opening day bye, and now moves on to the finals of the winners bracket at 2 o'clock on Friday against the South Alabama/ULM winner.
Georgia St. the 5th-seed, who won two games on Wednesday, will face the South Alabama/ULM loser at 11 am on Friday in an elimination match-up.
Georgia St. got on the scoreboard first, in the top half of the first inning, when Ivie Drake, the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, hit a solo home run, her 22nd of the season, to left-centerfield, giving the Panthers a quick 1-0 lead.
Louisiana came right back with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame, when Shellie Landry walked, and then scored on a two-run home run off the bat of Lexie Elkins, the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, her NCAA leading 28th of the season, and the 98th by the team, to put them in front, 2-1.
The Cajuns added an unearned run in the bottom half of the second inning, when DJ Sanders reached on an error, and then later scored on a run-scoring single off the bat of Hayley Hayden, extending their lead to 3-1.
DJ Sanders gave Louisiana a three-run lead in the bottom half of the third inning, crushing a two-out solo homer to left, her third of the year, to extend the advantage to 4-1.
The Cajuns continued to add to the lead in the bottom half of the fourth inning, plating three more runs, when Kelli Martinez walked and scored on the third UL homer of the day, a two-run shot by Hayden, her 12th of the year, and number 100 by the team, before Landry walked, and later scored on a fielder's choice ground ball by Elkins, who drove home her third run of the game, which increased the UL lead 7-1.
The Panthers scored their second run of the game in the top half of the fifth inning, when Drake delivered a two-out single, scoring Taylor Bradley, to cut the Louisiana lead to 7-2.
The Louisiana offense continued to put up more runs, adding two more in the bottom half of the fifth inning, both coming on bases loaded walks, one to Landry, and one to Elkins, who drove home her fourth run of the game, making the score 9-2, UL.
The Cajuns ended things in the bottom half of the sixth inning, when Kelsey Vincent clubbed a solo homer to left, giving them a 10-2 mercy-rule win, their fourth mercy-rule win over the Panthers in as many games this season.
Hayden and Sanders led the way at the plate for Louisiana, each collecting two hits, while Elkins, Vincent, Hayden, and Sanders all homered.
Jordan Wallace recorded the win in the circle for Louisiana, allowing three hits and two runs in six innings, along with 9 strikeouts, while Taylor Thorpe (17-6) suffered the loss fro Georgia St.
With the victory, Louisiana improves to 38-8 on the season, while Georgia St. fell to 37-21.
Again, the Cajuns next face the South Alabama/ULM winner on Friday afternoon at 2 pm, a game that you can hear on ESPN 1420 & espn1420.com, beginning with the pregame show at 1:45 pm.