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Softball: Cajuns Advance to Third-Straight Super Regional with 10-1 Win over Texas – host AZ

 

LAFAYETTE, La. – Gabby Felps broke a scoreless tie in the second inning with a pinch-hit two-run single to open the scoring for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, as they went on to defeat the Texas Longhorns, 10-1, in the 2014 NCAA Softball Lafayette Regional Championship game on Sunday at Lamson Park.

 

The win gives the Cajuns (47-8-1) their third-straight trip to the NCAA Super Regionals and nine consecutive victories in NCAA Regional Tournament play dating back to 2011.  It will be the first time hosting the Super Regional round in school history with the Cajuns facing the winner of the Phoenix Regional Championship between Arizona and LSU.

 

“I love this team and the way they fight,” head coach Michael Lotief said after the game.  “They have each other’s backs.  We came together as a group and started talking about how we don’t have to be perfect today, we just have to get out there and fight.”

 

The Cajuns took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, when Felps came on to pinch hit for Natalie Fernandez with the bases loaded and two outs. Felps swung at the first pitch she saw from Texas starter Tiarra Davis (19-14) and hit a hard smash off the glove of second baseman Stephanie Ceo, allowing Shelbi Redfearn and pinch-runner Kassidy Zeringue to score.

 

The single by Felps would be enough for starting pitcher Christina Hamilton (27-2) to take it the rest of the way.  Hamilton tossed the complete game, allowing one run on four hits and five walks, while striking out five.  

 

It was the combination of Shellie Landry and Redfearn striking in the third inning to add to the lead.  Landry lead off the inning with a single, which ended the day for Davis with the Longhorns bringing in Gabby Smith.  Redfearn welcomed Smith, sending the first pitch into the left-field bleachers, giving the Cajuns a 4-0 lead.

 

Smith rebounded in the bottom of the fourth, helping her own cause with a solo home run to center field for the Longhorns’ first hit of the day off Hamilton, to make it 4-1.

 

Lexie Elkins added to the Cajuns’ lead in the top of the fifth inning with her first hit of the regionals, sending a solo-home run to left field to lead off the inning and giving the Cajuns a 5-1 lead.  

 

The floodgates opened in the top of the seventh inning when the Cajuns put up five runs on five hits, including the second home run of the day from Elkins, an RBI double by Redfearn and a three-run homer by Kelsey Vincent to give the Cajuns a nine-run advantage.

 

Hamilton finished the game up with her first 1-2-3 inning of the game, getting Big 12 Player of the Year Taylor Thom to pop up to Corin Voinché for the final out.  

 

Redfearn finished the game 3-for-3 with three runs scored for the Cajuns and three RBI, finishing the regional with five hits and a team-high seven RBI.  

 

“We have a fanbase who comes out, game after game after game believing, providing energy and motivation,” Lotief added. “It’s ‘Cinderella-like,’ with the way that these kids believe and fight and the way this fanbase believes in them. You just have to stop and enjoy it. I don’t even want to think about next weekend right now. We want these kids to soak this in, to realize what they have accomplished.”

 

The Cajuns will await the announcement from the NCAA for game dates and times regarding next weekend’s NCAA Super Regionals.  

Athletic Network Footnote:
Update – Arizone defeated LSU in game 7 and will travel to Lamson.
 
LSU defeated Arizona in their first game today and forced a second game to determine the champion. The game is currently on ESPN2.





Nick Ross
Sports Information Assistant
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