TROY, Ala. – The No. 25-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team used timely pinch hitting to gain the lead and turned to the power bats to pull away from Troy for a 9-2 win on Saturday, April 22, evening the Sun Belt Conference series at the Troy Softball Complex in Troy, Alabama and regaining a two-game lead in the conference standings.
Louisiana (35-13, 15-2 SBC) bounced back from a walk-off defeat in the series opener and set up the rubber game with Troy (30-14-1, 11-5-1 SBC) on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. where the Ragin’ Cajuns will seek to extend their streak of consecutive SBC series won (currently 78 straight).
The Ragin’ Cajuns weathered the storm over the first three innings with the Trojans, yielding only a two-run home run to Jade Sinness – the lone blemish to a solid starting pitching performance from Karly Heath.
Then starting in the middle innings Louisiana would take command of the contest, unleashing an offensive attack on the Trojans that resulted in nine unanswered runs being pushed across.
Staring down a scoreless fourth inning after Leanna Johnson got Lauren Allred to fly out to the warning track in right field with two runners on base, head coach Gerry Glasco turned to the bench to flip the game upside down on the host Trojans.
The two-out magic in the fourth started with Laney Credeur winning a seven-pitch, pinch-hit at bat by looping a single into shallow right center to plate Alexa Langeliers and Sophie Piskos, who both singled earlier in the frame, and even the score at 2-all.
The next pinch hitter was Stormy Kotzelnick whose flare down the left field line bounced over the head of the Trojans’ defender for a double that plated Maddie Hayden (re-entered after Credeur’s single) from first base for the game-winning run that made it 3-2.
From that point on, Meghan Schorman picked up where she left off after ending the Troy rally in the third and the offense continued to pile up runs to create the runaway, series-equalizing victory.
Perhaps the biggest win of the day for Louisiana was Schorman keeping the Trojans from responding in the bottom of the fourth inning after a single and pair of walks loaded the bases. Schorman would catch Sinness looking at strike three to preserve the lead.
The next half inning it was Mihyia Davis keeping the Trojans backpedaling as she led off the fifth inning with a solo home run. Davis’ power swing was the first of two home runs, the latter from Allred, in the four-run inning that stretched Louisiana’s advantage to 7-2.
Solo home runs from Taylor Roman (6th inning) and Heath (7th inning) capped off the scoring and Schorman (4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 K) retired nine of the last 10 Trojans that stepped up to the plate to seal the win that gave the Ragin’ Cajuns back a two-game lead over Marshall in the Sun Belt standings.
Langeliers and Piskos, who set up the fourth inning overtake of the Trojans, both finished the day 2-for-4 at the plate. Piskos played a part in further separation in the fifth inning when her ground ball out plated a run and led to an errant throw that brought in a second tally upping the lead to 6-2.
Heath was the third Cajun with a multi-hit day with a double and the seventh-inning home run part of her 2-for-4 performance. The home run was her team-leading and career-high tying 13th of the season.
Credeur’s game-changing swing in the fourth inning marked her team-leading fifth (5th) hit as a pinch hitter and Kotzelnick’s game-winner was her first base hit in a pinch hit situation this season.
Davis homered for the second time in the past three games and produced an RBI for the fourth straight game (posted eight during the stretch). The sixth inning home run allowed her to extend her active reached base streak to 24 games.
The Ragin’ Cajuns picked up their sixth come-from-behind win in Sun Belt play, Saturday’s result marking the fifth time the rally occurred on the road (twice at USM and twice at JMU).
Louisiana improved to 47-7 all-time vs. Troy (includes a 41-7 mark in SBC regular season games) and now has a chance to overcome a 1-0 series deficit for the ninth time since the SBC series won streak began in March 2013.
UP NEXT FOR LOUISIANA
Louisiana and Troy meet on Sunday, April 23 to the decide the winner of the Sun Belt Conference series at the Troy Softball Complex in Troy, Alabama. Game time is slated for 12:00 p.m.
The Ragin’ Cajuns will go for a 79th consecutive Sun Belt series victory and aim to hold its multiple-game lead for first place heading into the final two weeks of play.
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.