AUSTIN, Texas –Early two-out hitting helped No. 11 Texas gain its footing and led the host-Longhorns to an 8-3 win over the 24th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team in the final game of the Longhorn Invitational on Sunday, March 5 at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas.
Louisiana (13-8) plated a run against the Longhorns (17-2-1) in the first inning for the second time in the tournament after Karly Heath’s double moved Maddie Hayden to third and she scored on Sophie Piskos’ high-hopping grounder for a quick 1-0 lead.
This time around, though, Texas would respond immediately as Courtney Day snuck a two-out RBI single inside the right field line and Viviana Martinez followed with an RBI double that provided the Longhorns a 2-1 lead.
The Ragin’ Cajuns had a runner in scoring position with a chance to answer back in the top of the second, but the Longhorns were able to turn an across-the-field double play off a grounder to shortstop to assure the lead would hold.
In the bottom half Chloe Riassetto and the Louisiana defense was an out away from keeping it a one-run affair, however Bella Dayton snuck in a two-out bunt single, stole second and scored on Leighann Goode’s single to increase the lead to 3-1.
Longhorns starting pitcher Citlaly Gutierrez retired the Ragin’ Cajuns in order in the top of the third inning, then the momentum continued to swing in the home team’s favor when Day ruined Meghan Schorman’s relief effort with a two-run home run two batters into the bottom of the third that stretched the lead to 5-1.
Texas took advantage of Louisiana’s second defensive miscue of the third to tack on two more runs increasing the lead to 7-1 and that’s where things stood until the late innings as Gutierrez extended her string of scoreless innings pitched to the sixth inning.
The Ragin’ Cajuns wouldn’t go away quietly as Jourdyn Campbell and Lauren Allred started off the seventh inning with back-to-back home runs.
Louisiana picked up seven hits off of Gutierrez, each from a different player. Both Campbell and Allred posted their second home run of the weekend tournament.
Mihyia Davis’ leadoff single in the first extended her hitting streak to five games and reached base streak to six games. Heath recorded her team-high tying seventh extra base hit of the season and stretched her hitting streak to six games with the first-inning double.
Riassetto made her first collegiate start in the circle and used back-to-back strikeouts in the first inning to get to two outs and nearly come away unscathed. She was charged with three runs (all earned) in her two innings of work.
Sam Landry scattered five hits as she worked the final four innings after Schorman was unable to record an out in the third inning. She faced 19 batters and the Longhorns were only able to come away with one earned run.
Sunday’s win allowed Texas to complete the weekend sweep of Louisiana in the Longhorn Invitational. The Longhorns rallied from a 2-0 deficit on Friday, eventually surpassing the Ragin’ Cajuns in the fifth inning with a four-spot that included a three-run home run from Day, and claimed a 6-2 triumph.
Texas took the lead over Louisiana in matchups at McCombs Field in the Glasco era, moving ahead 4-3 in the series of contests played in Austin the past four seasons.