Louisiana Softball Finishes Texas Trip With 3-1 Record
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns softball team nearly had a perfect week but finished with a 3-1 record on their trip to Texas.
Louisiana is now 23-9 this season and 9-3 in Sun Belt Conference play.
The Cajuns started the week with a rematch in Austin, Texas against the Texas Longhorns on Wednesday night. Texas had swept them in a double-header at Lamson Park on Wednesday, March 13, but Louisiana got their revenge with a hard fought 6-5 victory in extra innings. You can read about that game here: Louisiana Completes Comeback to Beat Texas 6-5 in Extra Innings.
The victory was Louisiana's first over a top 25 ranked team this season, so they took momentum into their weekend Sun Belt Conference series against the Texas State Bobcats.
Game one of their series was the definition of a pitching duel. Starting pitcher Sam Landry threw five shutout innings, allowing only two hits and two walks while striking out four batters. Texas State's pitcher did a great job of keeping Louisiana's offense off-balance, but Stormy Kotzelnick broke a scoreless tie by hitting a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning.
The Cajuns ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth. Meghan Schorman entered in relief of Landy, and the Bobcats got a leadoff single. Following a strikeout, a walk and an error had runners at the corners. The runner at first base stole second to prevent a potential double-play, but Schorman came back for a huge strikeout. A groundout stranded two runners in scoring position and kept Louisiana in front 1-0.
Schorman struck out the side in the seventh after the Cajuns were unable to add to their lead, and Louisiana won the pitching duel 1-0. Landry earned her 10th win of the season and Schorman got her second save. Both teams only recorded four hits in the game, but Kotzelnick's home run was the difference in the series-opening victory.
Kandra Lamb started game two for Louisiana, and the Bobcats were able to score their first run of the series thanks to two first-inning doubles on the Cajun starter. Lamb got out of it with a double-play, but Texas State took an early 1-0 lead. However, that was all they would get, as Louisiana's bats took over in this game.
Melissa Mayeux crushed a leadoff solo home run in the top of the second to tie the game. Schorman entered out of the bullpen in the frame to strand three base runners after the Bobcats loaded them without any outs. Two strikeouts and a groundout got the Cajuns out of a jam.
The fourth inning was where Louisiana dominated Texas State. Each of the first six Cajun batters reached base and four consecutive RBI-hits made it 5-1. A fielder's choice scored another run, and a two-out RBI-double by Jourdyn Campbell broke the game open at 8-1. Louisiana scored seven runs on six hits in the frame.
Mayeux continued her incredible day with a leadoff inside-the-park home run in the top of the fifth. A two-out RBI-hit by Kayla Falterman put Louisiana up 10-1, and Lamb came back into the game for Schorman to get the final three outs. Louisiana run-ruled Texas State 10-1 in five innings in game two behind the seven-run fourth inning rally.
With a sweep possible, Louisiana scored first in the final game of the weekend series. A leadoff single and hit-by-pitch in the second inning were bunted into scoring position. This allowed a Bobcats defensive error on a groundout to score two runs to give the Cajuns an early 2-0 lead.
Texas State answered in the third. After they had cut the lead in half with a RBI-single, a fielding error allowed the tying run to score. Landry overcame the error to record two strikeouts to end the threat.
Another defensive error with two outs in the fourth loaded the bases for the Bobcats, but Landry got a fly-out to strand three base runners and keep the game tied. The Cajuns had a runner reach scoring position in both the fourth and fifth innings, but they were 0-3 in opportunities to retake the lead in those frames.
The first two Texas State batters reached base in the fifth, and a sac-bunt move them into scoring position. This time, a one-out sacrifice-fly scored the leading run for the Bobcats, but Landry got another strikeout to keep the score at 3-2.
Campbell started the sixth inning with a ground-rule double, and Karly Heath hit a two-out, two-run home run to allow Louisiana to retake the lead late at 4-3.
After giving up the lead, Texas State rallied in the bottom of the sixth. Landry gave up a leadoff single before Schorman came out of the bullpen. However, the Cajun reliever hit the next batter, and a sac-bunt moved both runners into scoring position. A walk loaded the bases, and Landry came back into the game. The third defensive error of the contest for Louisiana allowed the tying run to score, and a sacrifice fly-out scored the eventual game-winning run.
The Cajuns had a chance in the top of the seventh to tie the game after Maddie Hayden singled and stole second base with one out, but a fly-out and strikeout prevented Louisiana from extending the game. The Cajuns defense failed them in this one. Texas State scored five runs, but only two of them were earned on four hits thanks to three Louisiana errors.
Louisiana's seven-game winning streak snapped, but they still picked up their 68th consecutive Sun Belt Conference weekend series victory. Up next, the Cajuns have one more road matchup when they travel to face McNeese State on Wednesday, April 6 at 6:30 p.m. McNeese is 18-14, and Louisiana has already beat them this season. When the two teams played on March 9 in Lafayette, the Cajuns won 5-3.
After that game, Louisiana finally comes home to Lamson Park for a three-game Sun Belt series against the Troy Trojans. Troy is currently 22-10 overall and 8-4 in Sun Belt play.