Softball: Redfearn and Landry Boost Cajuns Past Texas Southern, 7-4 – post game quotes included
LAFAYETTE, La. – Shelbi Redfearn hit a three-run home run in the third inning and Shellie Landry had two hits and scored three runs as the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball team picked up a 7-4 win over Texas Southern (31-19) in the opening round of the 2014 NCAA Lafayette Regional. The Cajuns (45-8-1) will now take on Texas, the winner of the regional opening game, on Saturday at noon, with the winner advancing to the regional championship game.
Redfearn now has a three-run home run in back-to-back games, giving the Cajuns the decisive run in each.
“At this point in the season it’s about surviving, doesn’t matter how you do it,” head coach Michael Lotief said. “It’s just getting out there and finding a way. I’m proud of my kids, I’m proud of the way they fought, and the way that they came out and stayed with it. They have trust in each other and they trust in their preparation, and the crowd was incredible.”
Landry continued her late season surge, getting the Cajuns on the board in the bottom of the second inning with a solo-home run to lead off the inning, making it 1-0, Cajuns.
After scoring a pair of runs on an RBI single by Samantha Walsh, scoring Haley Hayden, and an illegal pitch that plated Lexie Elkins, Louisiana added to the lead in the bottom of the third, plating five runs on four hits, highlighted by Redfearn’s 14th home run of the season, to give the Cajuns a 6-0 advantage.
The Lady Tigers plated two runs in the next half-inning, after loading the bases on walks, they strung together back-to-back RBI singles to cut the Cajuns lead to 6-2.
Texas Southern continued to cut into the Cajuns deficit in the top of the fifth, adding two more runs, first on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, and then on the next at bat with a fielder’s choice after a ball fell between Hayden and Corin Voinché, but a heads up play by Voinché got the runner out at second.
Voinché continued to help the Cajuns in their half of the fifth, driving in Hayden with a single up the middle, making it 7-4.
Christina Hamilton picked up her 25th win of the season in 27 decisions, tossing 6.2 non-consecutive innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while walking three and striking out four.
“As the tournament goes, it’s going to keep getting better and better,” Lotief said. “Texas Southern proved why they are here. I think they are a worthy opponent. It’s going to be about kids getting out there and fighting and competing. The seeds don’t mean anything. It’s about surviving and advancing and it’s about trusting and believing and I think that’s what our teams did today.”
The Cajuns return to Lamson Park Saturday at noon, to take on Texas (34-21), with the winner advancing to the Lafayette Regional championship game. The loser will take on the winner of the Mississippi State-Texas Southern game, in an elimination game at 6 p.m.
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NCAA Lafayette Softball Regional
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE/TEXAS SOUTHERN POSTGAME QUOTES
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE RAGIN’ CAJUNS HEAD COACH MICHAEL LOTEIF
“At this point in the season it’s about surviving. Doesn’t matter how you do it. It’s just getting out there and finding a way. I’m proud of my kids, I’m proud of the way they fought, and the way that they came out and stayed with it. They overcame some coaching moves that made you scratch your head. That’s what it’s all about. They have trust in each other and they trust in their preparation, and the crowd was incredible. As the tournament goes, it’s going to keep getting better and better. Texas Southern have proven why they are here. I think they are a worthy opponent. It’s going to be about kids getting out there and fighting and competing. The seeds don’t mean anything. It’s about surviving and advancing and it’s about trusting and believing and I think that’s what our teams did today.”
RAGIN CAJUNS SHORTSTOP, CORIN VOINCHE
A: It’s a fun atmosphere to play in. The big crowd definitely helps us out. The mindset at the plate was just try to get on base and try to make things happen for my team.
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE RAGIN CAJUNS OUTFIELDER SHELBI REDFEARN
Q: Shelbi tell us, you’ve had a great conference tournament. Are you just seeing the ball well, made some adjustments? You’re just swinging with a lot of power right now.
A: We worked hard in practice and we go out there and try to win one pitch at a time and we just focus on the goal and the plate.
Q: Is that the longest ball you’ve hit all year? It went a long way.
A: It felt pretty good, I was just trying to get the inning started so we could get some runners and get on board.
Q: Talk about how you feel at the plate right now
A: It’s all about your mindset and if you believe in yourself anything can happen, so I just step in the box, pretty confident and think that no one is going to beat me.
RAGIN CAJUNS HEAD COACH MICHAEL LOTIEF
A: This whole tournament is going to be about making decisions and navigating through these games and we got the momentum. I decided to make a pitching change and went right back to it. Sometimes when you’ve got the momentum, you’ve got to keep it. I put Wallace in a tough situation and I put the team in a tough situation. Like I said, I’m proud of them. They kept fighting and they found a way and you win despite of the coaching sometimes. I’m proud of them.
Q: Talk about the decision to start Christina. She pitched three times last weekend so she could if she has to. Talk about being in the position to possibly have to do that again.
A: Christina is our kid that has the command. When you get into the regionals, super regionals and the World Series you have to pitch strikes. She’s proven over the course of the season that she’s going to do it. I think what you’ve seen today is what’s going to happen. The wins are going to be tighter and Christina is going to have to have good command and teams are going to have to be good at bat. My mind is already going to tomorrow. As the one seed playing the supposed four seed, everybody thinks that’s just a cake walk, and there’s no cake walk in this tournament. I was listening to some of the scores being announced. My kids are winning the fight and the film and video that teams get on each other nowadays and the preparations that they do. It’s the pos season for everybody and again they played with a lot of energy and our teams did too. That was a good softball game. Hamilton right now is the kid that has the command on our softball teams. I think as you navigate through post season, that’s what it’s going to take.
Q: Talk about the matchup tomorrow. This is probably the matchup that everyone thought was going to happen. What are you expecting?
A: I expect a great softball game. Again, I think it’s going to be a great environment and our kids understand what’s on the line. It’s going to be about the team that can come into this environment and relax, execute, and trust. I think it’s going to be a great softball game and a great venue. I’m excited. This is why you do all the stuff you do all year long. This is fun, this is what it’s all about to me.
Q: What did you see on Tiara Davis from Texas and how do you plan on defeating her.
A: We’ve seen her play in person because we’ve played her before. She’s gotten better. She can command both sides of the zone and she seems like she’s developed some secondary pitches and it seems like her team really believes in her and plays behind her. It seems like she’s a lot more confident. She’s not a freshman anymore; you grow up playing the kind of schedule they played. Our hitters are ready.
TEXAS SOUTHERN TIGERS HEAD COACH WORLEY BARKER
“I’m proud of the way our kids played, they fought well, we got behind early, and left a couple of balls over the plate and they took advantage of them and hit the ball pretty hard. But my kids kept fighting, that’s one thing I told them today; we want to compete and fight, and I think we did those too things, just came up a little short. We knew our hands would be full with ULL, we looked at the scouting reports and man, they swing the bat. They swing the bat extremely way. So I’m excited that we competed and still looking forward to the rest of the tournament but I’m proud of my kids and the way they competed, we went after them. We had our chances, left a few runners on base. But I’m excited, I thought we followed our game plan and stuck to it. We just left a couple balls over the plate and they took advantage of them.”
TEXAS SOUTHERN TIGERS PITCHER SAMANTHA JIMENEZ
A: My mindset going out there was that we had nothing to lose. I wanted to help us make a good name for ourselves out there and represent our school well and everywhere that we’re all from. I’d say my best pitch was probably the screw ball. I got them to foul it off quite a few times and had them chase the curve a few times as well. I was just trying to make them put the ball in play; any kind of little pop up or ground ball. Make my defense work is basically my mindset anytime I’m out there pitching. Since I don’t throw as hard, I’m not going to blow it by anybody so I’m trying to get everybody involved as much as possible.
TEXAS SOUTHERN TIGERS HEAD COACH WORLEY BARKER
A: Our game plan from the get-go was that we have five pitchers on staff and we were prepared to throw every pitcher one inning if possible. ULL swings the bat, we looked at their stats and they are like number 2 in the country, they have one of the top averages in the country. So we knew they could swing the bat, we were prepared. We stuck with them in terms of hitting the ball. Like I said, you take away the two home runs and maybe it’s a one run ball game. The two home runs they hit, boy, you’re talking about some home runs. So we were prepared from the get-go. If we had to throw every pitcher one inning, let’s throw every pitcher, but I thought our pitchers gave us a chance to play. I think they scored one run on Sammy and as a coach you thought, if I had brought her in one inning earlier, who knows, maybe we would be up 4-1, or 4-2. I thought our pitchers did well. Take away those two pitches they hit out. It’s hard to keep a team like that down for long. My hat goes off to Coach Lotief and his program. They are a program that we idolize and we look at and someday we hope to be if not just like them, pretty close because they swing the bat. We are hoping we get back to them on Sunday, if they are in the Sunday bracket. I told my kids, it’s not over. We’re going to come out tomorrow against Mississippi State and we’re going to fight and compete and we hope to win the 3 o’clock game and battle in the six o’clock game and we hope to be facing ULL again on Sunday.
— Ragin’ Cajuns —