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Softball: Leads Hold as Cajuns and Bears Split Twinbill

Vincent HR entrance 2.27.16

 Box Score 1

 Box Score 2

 

 WACO, Texas – Both the No. 4-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball team and No. 19 Baylor made leads that they attained stand and split a doubleheader on Tuesday evening at Getterman Stadium.
 
Baylor (27-7) picked up two runs in the third inning of Game 1 on a double from Shelby Friudenberg and Heather Stearns protected the 2-0 lead as the Bears triumphed in the opener.
 
Louisiana (26-3) used a two-out grand slam in the fifth inning of Game 2 to end a scoreless duel between Alex Stewart and Kendall Potts, then Stewart stranded the tying run in the sixth and seventh as the Ragin’ Cajuns won the nightcap 4-3.
 
No. 4 Louisiana returns to Lamson Park this weekend for a Sun Belt Conference series vs. Texas State scheduled for Saturday-Sunday, April 2-3. The Ragin’ Cajuns and Bobcats will play a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday and 1 p.m. single game on Sunday.
 
Stearns and Stewart set the tone in the opener by each working a quick 1-2-3 frame in the first inning. Stearns wound up facing the minimum the first time through the Cajuns lineup.
 
BU got a leadoff single in the second inning, but Stewart induced back-to-back fly outs followed by a lineout to strand the runner and keep the contest scoreless.
 
For the second straight inning the Bears’ leadoff batter would reach after Robin Landrith opened the bottom of the third with a single up the middle. This time the hosts would capitalize.
 
Kyla Walker followed with a single to left field, then with one out Ari Hawkins laid down a bunt single to load the bases. Friudenberg followed with a bloop double into right field – just out of the reach of Haley Hayden diving for the ball – which plated two runs giving BU an early 2-0 lead.
 
Stearns made the lead stand for the Bears with assistance from her defense in the fourth inning. Hayden led off with a double and was thrown out from center field by Jessie Scroggins attempting to score on a single by Lexie Elkins.
 
Stewart matched her in the circle, tossing zeroes over BU’s final three at bats.
 
A pinch hit single by Taylor Terrio in the sixth and leadoff single by Elkins in the seventh gave Louisiana traffic late in the contest. Each time, Stearns escaped and closed by retiring three straight, two by strikeout, in the seventh.
 
The loss marked the first defeat of the season for Stewart, bringing her undefeated start to a close at 12 games.
 
The string of scoreless frames that closed out Game 1 continued through the first four innings of the nightcap as Stewart and Baylor’s Kendall Potts took turns hanging zeroes on the scoreboard.
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns, who had a near miss at scoring in the second inning after runners reached second and third with one out, ended the scoreless duel in the fifth inning on the two-out grand slam by Vincent.
 
The Bears picked up two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a bases-loaded single and sacrifice fly. With runners at second and third base, Stewart struck out Friudenberg swinging to end the threat and leave the tying run in scoring position.
 
Stewart went back to the strikeout to protect the lead in the sixth inning. The Bears scratched a run on a misplayed grounder by Hayden trimming the Cajuns lead to 4-3. After the tying run moved to third base on the miscue, she fanned Walker for the final out to strand the tying run in scoring position once again.
 
DIAMOND NOTES: The 2-0 loss in Game 1 marked the first time the Ragin’ Cajuns offense was shutout in 2016 and was the first occurrence since South Alabama posted a 2-0 win in the 2015 Sun Belt Tournament title game (May 9, 2015) in San Marcos, Texas…Louisiana improved to 6-0 in one-run games with the triumph in the nightcap…Baylor’s two runs in the opener was the 21st time in 28 games that the Cajuns pitching staff held the opposition to two runs or less…Alex Stewart bounced back from her first defeat of the season in the opener by claiming her third win over a ranked team in the nightcap (3-1 vs. ranked teams adding two wins over then-No. 5 Oregon)…Kelsey Vincent‘s grand slam gave her four RBI for the fourth time this season (2/12 vs. Ball State; 2/26 vs. Rutgers; 3/19 at UTA; 3/29 at BU)…With Vincent’s grand slam, the Ragin’ Cajuns have now homered in 22 of 29 games…Tuesday’s twinbill was a rematch of the 2015 NCAA Lafayette Regional final held at Lamson Park which Cajuns won 9-1 (6 inn.) to advance to the NCAA Auburn Super Regional…The Ragin’ Cajuns and Bears met at Getterman Stadium for the second time in the past three seasons (played a doubleheader in April 2014)…The split of the doubleheader kept the programs tied 3-3 in meetings at Getterman Stadium…Louisiana now leads the all-time series 15-8, having won eight of the past 10 meetings dating back to the 2014 season…The Ragin’ Cajuns and Bears are two of the nation’s hottest teams with Louisiana having won 20 of its past 22 games and Baylor being victorious in 18 of its past 22 outings.
 

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