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Softball: Jaguars Shutout Cajuns 2-0 – Claim SBC Tournament Crown and Automatic NCAA Bid

Box Score



SAN MARCOS, Texas – No. 2 seed and 23rd-ranked South Alabama scored two unearned runs on a two-out rally in the seventh inning to break a scoreless tie and defeat top seed and 10th-ranked Louisiana 2-0 in the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Softball Tournament championship game here at Bobcat Softball Stadium.




South Alabama (38-11) collected the Sun Belt’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Louisiana (39-9) is expected to receive an at-large berth and will receive its assignment during Sunday’s NCAA Softball Selection Show at 9 p.m. (CDT) on ESPNU.




Amanda Minahan began the Jaguars seventh-inning rally with a two-out walk to extend the top half of the frame. Blair Johnson singled through the right side and Amanda Herron walked on four pitches to load the bases.




Pinch hitter Haleigh Lowe hit a grounder to Kelsey Vincent near the first base bag, but a misplay of the ball prevented Vincent from stepping over to first base for the final out. As a result, Minahan scored the game’s first and eventual winning run.




A second Jaguars run would cross resulting in a 2-0 edge after Jordan Wallace walked Emily Messer, then USA’s Devin Brown escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh to land the championship.




The Ragin’ Cajuns had an opportunity to win the game in their half of the seventh inning after walks by Kelli Martinez and Shellie Landry put two runners on base for Sun Belt Player of the Year Lexie Elkins.




Brown worked around Elkins, walking her on four pitches, then induced a grounder from Samantha Walsh back to the circle to bring the game to a close.




“It was a hard fought game,” Louisiana softball associate head coach T.J. Hubbard said. “I am proud of our kids. They poured their hearts into that game. It was a tough way to go down, but we competed every pitch right down to the end. We look forward to moving on.”




Brown (10-4), who relieved starting pitcher Farish Beard after she was pulled for throwing five illegal pitches during the first two at bats for the Cajuns in the first inning, earned the win after posting a five-hit shutout in seven innings of relief.




Wallace (16-5) took the hard-luck loss after carrying a shutout into the seventh inning. The Cajuns senior hurler held USA to three hits and struck out seven. She issued six walks in the contest, three in the decisive frame that aided the Jaguars’ rally.




Saturday’s meeting, a rematch of the 2014 SBC Tournament championship game that the Cajuns won 4-1, marked the third time Louisiana and South Alabama met for the title (2012, 2014, 2015). The Jaguars improved to 2-1 in the title game against the Cajuns, with Saturday’s win adding to the 2012 title game triumph in Boca Raton, Fla.




DIAMOND NOTES: Lexie Elkins, DJ Sanders and Jordan Wallace were each named to the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Tournament all-tournament team…The Ragin’ Cajuns were shutout for just the second time (lost 8-0 at #2 Oregon on April 24)…Jordan Wallace held an opponent to three hits or fewer for the ninth time in 12 starts that have gone seven innings…Leandra Maly extended her current hitting streak to seven games with a single in the sixth inning…Aleah Craighton saw her seven-game hitting streak snapped…The error by Vincent in the seventh inning ended the Cajuns string of five straight error-free games and was the team’s first error since the eighth inning of Game 2 of the Oregon doubleheader back on April 25…South Alabama took a 4-3 lead in Sun Belt Tournament meetings…Louisiana went 2-1 in the 2015 SBC Tournament moving the program’s all-time record in the event to 50-8.









Matt Hebert
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Sports Information Assistant



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