HARRISONBURG, Va. –The No. 25-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team used its fourth come-from-behind win on the road in Sun Belt Conference play to complete a three-game sweep of James Madison at Veterans Memorial Park in Harrisonburg, Virginia, capturing the series finale on Sunday, April 2 by a 6-2 count.
Louisiana (26-10, 8-1 SBC) became the first team to sweep a three-game conference series from JMU (20-10, 5-4 SBC) in Harrisonburg since April 2010 (Hofstra in the Colonial Athletic Association).
Trailing 2-1 entering the fifth inning, the Ragin’ Cajuns got Mihyia Davis aboard with a one-out bunt single and let her speed take over to start the comeback. Davis stole second and on the next pitch was able to round home with the tying run after the Dukes misplayed a Maddie Hayden grounder.
The Ragin’ Cajuns would overtake JMU before their turn at the plate in the fifth was over as Lauren Allred came through with a clutch hit again by singling home Hayden with two outs for a 3-2 lead.
Kandra Lamb (3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 6 K), who won two key battles in the fourth inning with the Dukes threatening for more after taking the 2-1 lead, protected the lead by retiring the final eight batters (four by strikeout) that she faced after a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the fifth put the tying run in scoring position.
The offense gave Lamb space for her final inning of relief by tacking on three runs in the seventh inning off of home runs from Sophie Piskos (solo) and Alexa Langeliers (two-run) to extend the lead out to 6-2.
Louisiana out-hit JMU 12-4 and peppered five extra base hits around the park (three doubles, two home runs) led by a pair of extra baggers from Langeliers (2-for-4, double, HR, 2 RBI) who was celebrating her birthday.
Piskos provided a three-hit effort, scored a pair of runs and set up the Ragin’ Cajuns for tallies in the first and fifth inning while finishing off the strong day at the plate with the first of the insurance runs leading off the seventh inning. She finished as one of six Cajuns to record at least four hits in the series leading Louisiana to a commanding 31-14 edge over JMU.
Lamb’s relief effort was the exclamation point to her dominance in relief over the weekend. She finished with 6-2/3 scoreless innings of two-hit softball with 11 strikeouts in twice closing out the Dukes.
The day started with Louisiana scoring in the first inning for the third time in as many days after both Piskos and Laney Credeur doubled to push across a run. JMU responded quickly, evening the score with a solo home run from Hannah Shifflett.
Meghan Schorman (3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 4 K) and JMU’s Alissa Humphrey dueled in the circle the next 2-1/2 innings to keep the contest a stalemate until the Dukes would get a solo home run from Bella Henzler in the fourth inning to briefly take the lead.
Lamb got two strikeouts to shut down the Dukes and end the fourth, then Louisiana turned the tables on the Dukes once again. In both road SBC series (USM and JMU), the Ragin’ Cajuns have overcome a deficit twice (four total comebacks overall) including a fifth inning or later comeback in the series finale.
The Ragin’ Cajuns handed the Dukes their third consecutive home loss – and are the lone visiting team to win in Harrisonburg in the 2023 season – and picked up their own 17th win away from Lamson Park (nine true road wins, eight neutral site wins). Louisiana remains perfect at 6-0 on the road in Sun Belt play.
Louisiana is now 4-1 all-time vs. James Madison and claimed the series sweep in the first-ever Sun Belt matchup between the two nationally recognized programs.
UP NEXT FOR LOUISIANA
The Ragin’ Cajuns return home to the state of Louisiana for Easter Week, with a midweek game scheduled at McNeese (26-10) on Tuesday, April 4 in Lake Charles followed by a three-game Sun Belt Conference series with South Alabama (25-10, 8-1 SBC) at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park from Thursday-Saturday, April 6-8.
The midweek tilt with the Cowgirls at Joe Miller Field at Cowgirl Diamond on April 4 begins at 6:00 p.m., while game times for the South Alabama series at Lamson Park are set for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday followed by a 2:00 p.m. series finale on Saturday.
All four games are being televised on ESPN+ and radio coverage is being provided by TalkRadio 960 AM (McNeese) 103.3 FM The Goat (USA series) and the Varsity Network.
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