UL Softball Wins Lafayette, La. Regional, Defeat Baylor, 9-1, In Final Game
The 11th-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajun softball team won the Lafayette, La. Regional on Sunday, defeating the 18th-ranked Baylor Bears, 9-1, in six innings, in the final game at Lamson Park.
Louisiana, the top-seed, won the regional with a 3-1 record, after dropping the first game to Baylor, 6-2, which set up an "if necessary" game.
The regional win advances the Cajuns into NCAA Super Regional play for the fourth-consecutive year, including the fifth time in the last years years, and the sixth time in the last eight years.
In the first game, Louisiana scored the first run of the game, plating a single run in the top half of the first inning, when Shellie Landry singled with one out, and later scored on an infield single by Samantha Walsh, giving them a quick 1-0 lead.
The Cajuns added another run in the top half of the second inning, when Aleah Craighton singled with one out, moved to second on an infield single by Kelli Martinez, then to third on a single to right by Hayley Hayden, before scoring on a fielders choice ground ball off the bat of Landry, extending their lead to 2-0.
Baylor tied the game with two run in the bottom half of the third inning, when Sarah Smith delivered a clutch two-out, two-run triple, scoring Lindsey Cargill and Ari Hawkins, to make the score 2-2.
The Bears grabbed the lead in the bottom half of the fifth inning, when Shelby Friudenberg belted a two-out, two-run home run, giving the Bears their first advantage of the evening, 4-2.
The Bears put things away with two insurance runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning, when Kaitlyn Thumann came through with a clutch two-out, two run single, to give them a 6-2 lead and wrap-up the scoring.
The Bears went on to the 6-2 win, scoring all of their runs with two outs, two of them unearned.
Thumann led the way for Baylor at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two runs batted in, as the Bears outhit the Cajuns, 7-5.
Heather Stearns (21-12) recorded the win in the circle for Baylor, striking out four batters, while Christina Hamilton (12-3) suffered the loss for Louisiana.
In the second game, Louisiana scored first, plating two runs, when Craighton drove home pinch-runner Cassidy White, before Kelli Martinez drove home Leandra Maly with a fielders choice, giving them a 2-0 lead.
The Cajuns scored another run in the bottom half of the third inning, when Lexie Elkins blistered a solo home run to centerfield, her 31st of the season, which set a new UL single-season record, making the score 3-0.
The Louisiana offense continued to roll, putting up two more runs in the bottom half of the fourth inning, including a sacrifice fly RBI by Elkins, her second of the game, and 81st of the season, extending their lead to 5-0.
Baylor scored their lone run of the game in the top of the fifth inning, when Hawkins drove home Jessie Scroggins with a single to left, trimming the UL lead to 5-1.
The Cajuns ended things in the bottom half of the sixth inning, the first coming on a Sara Corbello pinch-hit home run to left, with the final three coming courtesy of a three-run walk-off homer to left by Walsh, giving the Cajuns the 9-1 mercy-rule win.
Elkins led the way at the plate for Louisiana, going 2-for-2, along with a homer and two RBI's, as Louisiana outhit Baylor, 9-5.
Jordan Wallace (18-5) recorded the win in the circle for the Cajuns, striking out five hitters, while Stearns (21-13) was hit with the loss for the Bears.
Louisiana is now 42-10 on the season, while Baylor's season ends with a record of 39-17.
The Cajuns will travel to Auburn, Alabama for NCAA Super Regional action this weekend, when they take on the 4th-overall national seed Auburn Tigers in a best 2-of-3 series.