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Softball: Cajuns Take USA Into Extra Innings

Brittany Cuevas kept Team USA scoreless for eight innings at the Judi Garman Classic.
View larger Courtesy: RaginCajuns.com
Brittany Cuevas kept Team USA scoreless for eight innings at the Judi Garman Classic.


FULLERTON, Calif.Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns nearly pulled off what most people felt was impossible by upending the best team in the world.  The United States Olympic Team edged the Ragin’ Cajuns, 1-0, in nine innings in the Cajuns’ first game of the Judi Garman Classic at Anderson Family Field in Fullerton, Calif.

The Ragin’ Cajuns are one of just two teams this year to contend with Team USA, but UL is the only team to take the Olympic team into extra innings.  On Feb. 29, UCF lost a 1-0 decision to Team USA. 

The Cajuns collected just one hit in the game, but received a gem in the circle from starting pitcher Brittany Cuevas (Brazoria, Texas)

Cuevas worked eight scoreless innings, before surrendering a run in the bottom of the ninth inning.  She struck out four batters, while only allowing one free pass.  Included in Cuevas’ Ks was a strikeout of Lisa Fernandez (UCLA) on four pitches.  Cuevas worked out of several jams, keeping the Team USA bats at bay. 

The Olympic Team threatened in the first inning, but the Cajuns kept Team USA off of the scoreboard.  Caitlin Lowe (Arizona) led off the bottom of the first with a single to left field.  Natasha Watley (UCLA) reached base on a fielding error by the Cajuns, allowing Lowe to reach second.  Cuevas struck out the next two batters, before surrendering a base on balls to load the bases.  Cuevas worked out of the jam inducing a pop up to Melissa Verde (Beaumont, Texas) to end the inning. 

The Cajuns worked out of a similar jam in the second inning.  A one-out single by Tairia Flowers (UCLA) gave Team USA their first base runner of the inning.  Once again a fielding error gave the Olympic Team runners on first and second.  A lazy pop up to shortstop Brooke Brodhead (Lafayette, La.) ended the inning, leaving the score knotted at 0-0 after two innings.

Louisiana retired Team USA in order in the third inning.  A ground out to Verde started the inning.  Team USA’s Crystal Bustos (Palm Beach CC) hit a deep fly ball to centerfield, but Karli Hubbard (Lafayette, La.) went up against the wall to rob Bustos of what would have been her fifth home run of the KFC Bound for Beijing Tour. 

The Ragin’ Cajuns collected their first hit of the game in the fourth inning.  With one out, Holly Tankersley (Kirbyville, Texas) displayed her blistering fast speed as she beat out a throw from the shortstop for the Cajuns first hit of the night.  Courtney Trahan (Maurice, La.) entered the game to run for Tankersley.  With two outs, Team USA’s Stacey Huveman (UCLA) displayed her arm, throwing out Trahan who was attempting to steal. 

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Jenny Topping (Cal State-Fullerton) led off with a single to right field.  Team USA inserted a pinch runner and bunted the runner over to second base.  With one out, Cuevas induced a pop up to second base for the second out of the inning and retired Fernandez on four pitches to end the inning. 

With International Tie-Breaker Rules in effect, in the top of the eighth inning, the Cajuns put Kelly Cormier (Abbeville, La.) on second base.  She tried to advance on a pitch in the dirt, but back-up catcher Topping threw out Cormier for the first out of the inning.  A strikeout and a ground out ended the inning for the Cajuns. 

In Team USA’s half of the eighth, Lowe was placed on second and successfully moved over with a sacrifice bunt.  However, Team USA could not score Lowe as a foul out and a ground out sent the game in to the ninth inning. 

In the bottom of the ninth, Team USA pinch ran Lovieanne Jung (Arizona) at second base.  A fielding error by the Cajuns gave Team USA runners on first and second with no outs.  The Olympic Team successfully moved the runners on a sacrifice bunt and an RBI single by Topping gave Team USA the 1-0 win. 

The Ragin’ Cajuns continue play in the 2008 Judi Garman Classic on Friday morning as they take on No. 1 Arizona State at 11:00 a.m. (Central Standard Time). 


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Chris Whitehead, Sports Informatin