CLEARWATER, Fla. – The No. 22-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team’s hard-fought rally back from a five-run deficit fell just short as Michigan held on for a 7-6 win on Friday, February 17 on Field 1 of the Eddie C. Moore Complex at the TaxAct Clearwater Invitational in Clearwater, Florida. 

Louisiana (5-1) found itself trailing 6-1 after two complete innings of play after the Wolverines (5-2) capitalized on miscues to plate five unearned runs in the bottom of the second. 

The Ragin’ Cajuns began to close in on Michigan in the fourth inning when Stormy Kotzelnick’s three-run home run to straightaway center field narrowed the gap to 6-4.  

The Wolverines would start the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run from Keke Tholl prior to a 40-minute weather delay, but that’s the last bit of offense they would pick up as Sam Landry re-entered the game when play resumed and closed with three innings of one-hit softball. 

More pressure was applied by Louisiana in the fifth inning as the deficit was lowered to one run when a two-base sacrifice fly from Sophie Piskos and an RBI single from Kotzelnick trimmed Michigan’s lead down to 7-6. 

Wolverines’ reliever Lauren Derkowski (3.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 5 K) returned the momentum back to her team’s side by retiring the Ragin’ Cajuns in order in the top of the sixth inning. An inning later, Derkowski worked around a leadoff walk by closing with back-to-back strikeouts to secure the win. 

Kotzelnick led Louisiana with a 2-for-3 showing at the plate that generated a game-high four (4) RBI, producing runs with both of her base hits.  

Victoria Valdez stretched her season-opening hitting streak to six games with a two-out double in the second inning that began a rally that drew Louisiana even at 1-all. 

Alexa Langeliers and Jourdyn Campbell each drew two walks, with Campbell leading off the fourth with a free pass to set up Kotzelnick’s home run and the duo each walking in the fifth and scoring to move the Ragin’ Cajuns within a run of the Wolverines. 

Landry would scatter four hits, yield only one earned run (out of six total she was charged with) and struck out seven over the 4-2/3 innings that spanned her two appearances in the circle.  

Michigan topped Louisiana for the second straight meeting. Friday’s matchup marked the first time since March 2018 the two storied program’s faced one another.  

Louisiana, which was dealt its first defeat of the young season, fell to 1-1 in the TaxAct Clearwater Invitational while Michigan moved its mark to 1-1 and gained a split of a doubleheader on its first day out in Clearwater. 


No. 22 Louisiana is scheduled for a day-night doubleheader against a pair of Top 5 teams during play in the TaxAct Clearwater Invitational on Saturday, February 18 at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Florida. 

The Ragin’ Cajuns open play on Saturday with a 9:30 a.m. (CST) contest vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State (6-1) on Field 9 and conclude the day meeting No. 4 Arkansas (5-2) at 3:30 p.m. (CST) on Field 1. 

Both contests can be viewed on ESPN+ available at or the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage, with the call from Jay Walker and Bobby Neveaux, is available in the Acadiana region on 103.3 FM and 1420 AM and worldwide through the Ragin’ Cajuns Digital Network (links available on softball schedule page at 

Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Facebook (/RaginCajunsSB), Twitter (@RaginCajunsSB) and Instagram (@Louisiana.SB) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Softball. 

Fans are encouraged to stay engaged with the Ragin’ Cajuns by downloading the #GeauxCajuns app. Click here for iOS/Apple platforms and here for Android platforms.