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Softball: Power Barrage Carries Cajuns to Doubleheader Sweep of Mountaineers


BOONE, N.C. – Lexie Elkins went a combined 8-for-10 at the plate with five home runs and 13 RBI and the No. 9-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball team belted a combined 13 home runs as they earned a doubleheader sweep of Appalachian State in Sun Belt Conference action on Saturday at Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium.

In the opener, Elkins went 4-for-5 with three home runs and six RBI while Samantha Walsh homered twice in a 21-5 victory in five innings. Elkins followed her game one performance in the nightcap as she went 4-for-5 with a pair of home runs and seven RBI in a 23-6 contest.

Louisiana (34-5, 17-3 Sun Belt) scored in eight of 10 innings played in its first meeting against Appalachian State (12-28, 1-19 Sun Belt), including a combined 25 runs in the fifth inning of the twinbill. The Ragin’ Cajuns built a 21-2 lead in the opener after scoring 11 runs in the fifth inning before erupting for 14 runs in the nightcap after the Mountaineers got to within 9-6 after four.

The series is scheduled to conclude on Sunday at 11 a.m. CDT. The game can be heard in the Lafayette area on ESPN 1420 AM and on-line at RaginCajuns.com.

GAME 1 – Louisiana 21, Appalachian State 5 (5 innings)
Louisiana scored a run in the second inning on a solo home run by Walsh before scoring seven runs and sending 11 batters to the plate in the third. Elkins and Kelsey Vincent added solo home runs in the fourth inning for the Ragin’ Cajuns  before sending 16 batters to the plate in the fifth, including back-to-back home runs by Shellie Landry and Elkins.

Elkins blasted a three-run homer in the third inning off ASU starter Kaitlin Williford (4-2) before Walsh followed with her second solo home run of the game for a 5-0 lead. DJ Sanders added an RBI double to drive in Vincent before Aleah Craighton drove in Leandra Maly and Sanders to give Louisiana an 8-0 lead.

Louisiana scored 11 runs on seven hits in the fifth inning with Landry belting a three-run homer down the left-field line off ASU reliever Katherine Johnson and Elkins following with a solo blast to center. Sanders, Craighton and pinch-hitter Sara Corbello each added RBIs on three straight bases-loaded walks off Alissa Schoelkopf and Haley Hayden cleared the bases with a triple to left.

Jordan Wallace (14-2) earned the win for Louisiana after scattering three hits and striking out five in three innings of work. Christina Hamilton pitched a scoreless inning for Louisiana before Kylee Jo Trahan closed out the game, allowing a pair of hits and striking out two.

Hayden went 2-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored for Louisiana, which pounded out 19 hits and tied a season-high with seven home runs off three ASU pitchers. Walsh went 3-for-4 and scored twice with Vincent and Craighton each going 2-for-3 at the plate. Elkins and Vincent also scored three times for Louisiana with Walsh, Maly, Sanders, Craighton and Kelli Martinez each scoring twice.

Williford took the loss after allowing six runs on six hits in 2.1 innings. Johnson allowed eight runs on nine hits in 2.0 innings before Schoelkopf gave up seven runs on four hits in 0.2 innings.

Sarah Warnock belted a two-run home run in the third inning for Appalachian State before Caroline Chambers and Pepper Butler each drove in runs for the Mountaineers in a three-run fifth.

GAME 2 – Louisiana 23, Appalachian State 6 (5 innings)
Louisiana sent 20 players to the plate and belted four home runs in the fifth inning and put the game away after Appalachian State scored four unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth to close the gap to 9-6.

Elkins, who hit 24 home runs last season, homered twice in the inning to increase her season total to 25, beginning with a three-run blast to drive in Hayden and Landry, before her two-run shot cleared the left-field fence.

Vincent added a solo blast two batters later for Louisiana before Hayden belted a three-run smash.

Louisiana opened the game with four straight hits as Hayden singled, Landry doubled, Elkins added a two-run single and Walsh hit a two-run homer off ASU starter Vanessa Ciocatto (3-10).

Vincent added a two-run homer in the third inning for the Ragin’ Cajuns and Martinez added an RBI single to push Louisiana’s lead to 7-2. Sanders, who finished 3-for-3 at the plate and reached base five times in the nightcap, gave Louisiana a 9-2 lead in the fourth inning when she greeted Williford with a two-run single that scored Walsh and Kendall Smith.

App State scored a run when Butler crossed the plate on a two-out fielding error by Louisiana starter Alex Stewart (10-0) before Katie Mathewson hit a three-run homer to left-center field that cut the lead to 9-6.

But Louisiana put the game away in the fifth as Martinez reached on a single, Hayden hit an RBI double to right-center, Landry added an RBI single and Elkins delivered a three-run homer. Corbello and Taylor Terrio each added RBI singles in the inning for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who recorded a season-high 23 hits in the game.

Stewart earned the win for Louisiana, allowing seven hits with three strikeouts in 3.2 innings. Wallace closed out the fourth inning for the Ragin’ Cajuns before Hamilton pitched the fifth with three strikeouts.

Martinez went 4-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and a pair of runs scored for Louisiana with Hayden finishing 3-for-6 with four RBI and three runs scored. Landry added three hits and scored twice for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Walsh and Sanders each going 2-for-3 and Vincent 2-for-4.

Butler went 2-for-2 and scored twice for the Mountaineers with Rogers adding a pair of runs. Ciocatto took the loss for App State after allowing 14 runs on 13 hits in 3.2 innings. Three relievers combined to allow 10 hits and seven earned runs in 1.1 innings of work.