MOBILE, Ala. – The No. 22-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team advanced into the winner’s bracket of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament with a 4-2 victory over Coastal Carolina on Wednesday morning at Jaguar Field in Mobile.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (42-11) used timely hits and seven strong innings from Meghan Schorman to capture the win over the Chanticleers (28-22).
Louisiana extended its winning streak to a season-high 10 games, won for the 19th time in the past 20 outings and collected the 200th win of head coach Gerry Glasco‘s tenure.
First up in the winner’s bracket will be Troy (30-19), who followed with a win over UT Arlington in Wednesday’s action. The Ragin’ Cajuns and Trojans are slated to meet on Thursday (May 12) at 10:00 a.m. for a spot in Friday’s winner’s bracket final.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Ragin’ Cajuns refusal to be turned away after a double play that Coastal Carolina turned in the second inning would set the tone for the rest of the contest. Raina O’Neal delivered the first of a trio of key hits with an RBI double off the center field wall for a 1-0 advantage.
Schorman, who wouldn’t allow a runner to reach third unaided by a miscue, retired the Chanticleers in order after being provided the lead.
A two-out RBI single from Stormy Kotzelnick in the fourth inning created separation and then a two-run home run from Alexa Langeliers doubled the lead, increasing the margin to 4-0, in the fifth inning.
Langeliers’ towering home run proved to the difference maker, as the Chanticleers rallied in the sixth inning by tallying three consecutive hits which led to a pair of runs.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE BOX SCORE
O’Neal’s heroics in the second inning gave Louisiana a lead it wouldn’t relinquish, improving the squad to 35-2 on the season when scoring first.
Kotzelnick (1-for-3, RBI) picked up her team-leading 46th RBI with the clutch single in the fourth inning – the second two-out RBI collected by the Ragin’ Cajuns in as many runs placed on the scoreboard.
The home run was the 12th of the season for Langeliers (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI), moving her into a tie with Karly Heath for the team lead. The freshman shortstop homered for the third time in the past four games.
Schorman (7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K) limited Coastal to just two hits over the first five innings. After re-entering the game in the sixth inning after the Chants scored, she would retire six consecutive batters to sew up the winning performance in her SBC Tournament debut.
The nine strikeouts recorded marked the seventh time in the last 11 appearances that Schorman (14-4, 1.85 ERA) tallied at least eight strikeouts and increased her season total to a team-best 157 strikeouts. The junior transfer from Kentucky stretched her personal winning streak to eight games.
THIS ‘N THAT
- Louisiana improved to 66-9 (.880) all-time in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The Ragin’ Cajuns remained undefeated (8-0) in tournament games played in Mobile.
- Gerry Glasco reached 200 wins in the 251st game of his career as a collegiate head coach.
- Louisiana and Coastal Carolina met for the third time in the Sun Belt Tournament. Previous two meetings came in the 2019 event in San Marcos, Texas.
- For the 31st time (in 53 games total), the Ragin’ Cajuns pitching staff limited the opposition to two runs or less.
- Alexa Langeliers increased her season RBI total to 39, putting her in line to be the second Ragin’ Cajun to reach 40 RBI in the 2022 season.
- The Ragin’ Cajuns have now advanced into the winner’s bracket following their Sun Belt Tournament opener each year since 2010.
Louisiana and Troy meet on Thursday, May 12 at 10:00 a.m. in the first winner’s bracket semifinal of the 2022 Sun Belt Conference Softball Tournament at Jaguar Field in Mobile, Alabama.
It’s the first SBC Tournament meeting between the two programs since the 2011 event held in Lafayette at Lamson Park.
The Ragin’ Cajuns swept the season series, held at Lamson Park, collecting 24 runs off a .390 average and limiting the Trojans offense to just two runs and seven hits off a .101 average over 20 innings.