LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Sophie Piskos delivered a pinch-hit, two-run home run for the lead in the sixth inning and Taylor Roman immediately followed with another one for good measure as the No. 25-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team erased a late deficit and claimed a 4-2 win over Texas State on Saturday, April 15 at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.
Piskos’ hero shot and Roman’s insurance netter rewarded Sam Landry (5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 K) for bouncing back after a two-run first inning to hold the Bobcats down through the fifth inning before Kandra Lamb entered to shut down a sixth inning rally and close the door in the seventh.
With Saturday’s triumph the Ragin’ Cajuns (32-12, 13-1 SBC) extended their streak of consecutive Sun Belt Conference series won to 78 straight – the nation’s longest active streak of consecutive conference series victories which dates back to March 2013.
It was also Louisiana’s eighth consecutive conference victory and allowed the squad to maintain its two-game edge over Marshall for first place in the Sun Belt standings.
Piskos’ clutch go-ahead home run swing was the strike that finally cracked the stranglehold Texas State’s Tori McCann held from the start – a solo home run from Lauren Allred in the fourth inning being the only dent the Ragin’ Cajuns could make on the visitors early 2-0 edge prior to the sixth inning.
Ironically, Piskos’ heroic launch came after the Bobcats’ Katarina Zarate narrowly missed a three-run home run swing in the top of the sixth inning that would have opened a four-run lead for Texas State (26-17-1, 6-6-1 SBC).
Retiring Zarate with a strikeout looking after the long foul ball on the missed home run swing would be the biggest out recorded by Lamb (1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K) who wound up being the winner in relief.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, it would be a patient seven-pitch, two-out walk by freshman Victoria Valdez – after McCann picked up two quick outs on just three pitches – that provided Piskos the game-winning opportunity.
The Cajuns held their breath after Piskos fouled off the first attempt at the home run swing. She wouldn’t miss on the next offering from McCann, lifting the ball high and over the center field wall to pull Louisiana ahead 3-2.
Roman greeted Bobcats reliever Presley Glende with her solo shot, then Lamb sat the Bobcats down in order in the top of the seventh to lock up the series-clinching triumph.
Texas State’s bid at evening up the series began in the first inning when a game-opening error led to a Hannah Earls RBI single and later an Anna Jones RBI double upped the early lead to 2-0.
Landry recovered with back-to-back strikeouts to close the inning and then flipped the momentum in the Cajuns favor as she proceeded to face only one over the minimum until back-to-back, two-out walks in the top of the sixth inning gave way to Lamb.
Piskos picked up her team-leading fourth hit in a pinch-hitting situation (4-for-12, 4 RBI) and her first home run of the season as a pinch hitter. Roman’s pinch hit home run marked her first home run for the season.
Allred collected her sixth home run of the season and pulled into a three-way tie for the team lead in RBI for the season, picking up her 30th to draw even with Karly Heath and Alexa Langeliers. She upped her team-best RBI total in Sun Belt games to 16.
Landry yielded one earned run or less for the sixth straight appearance (since April 4 at McNeese) while Lamb turned in her sixth shutout relief performance in the past three weeks (since JMU series opener).
The Ragin’ Cajuns trailed after five complete for only the 12th time in 44 games and picked up their third win in such situation. Texas State squandered a fifth inning lead for just the fifth time in 20 opportunities.
Louisiana upped its all-time series lead over Texas State to 47-8 which now includes a 21-5 edge in Sun Belt regular season games.
Adding in Saturday’s win, the Ragin’ Cajuns moved to 8-0 in the current four-week stretch of matchups with Sun Belt contenders. The stretch began with sweeps of James Madison (March 31-April 2) and South Alabama (April 8-9).
UP NEXT FOR LOUISIANA
Louisiana and Texas State wrap up the three-game Sun Belt series at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park on Sunday, April 16 with a 12:00 p.m. contest.
The Ragin’ Cajuns seek their first series sweep of the Bobcats since 2019 and their first sweep at Lamson Park since 2016.
Television coverage is available on ESPN+. Fans in the Acadiana region can also keep up with the action with Cody Junot and Bobby Neveaux on the call on 103.3 FM and 1420 AM and worldwide on the Varsity Network. Live stats will be provided at CajunStats.com.
FOLLOW THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
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.