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Softball: Sanders and Vincent Fuel Offense, Brown No-Hits Alcorn State

DJ Sanders 2.28.16 vs. Alcorn

 Box Score (PDF)


 LAFAYETTE – DJ Sanders was 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBI and Victoria Brown no-hit Alcorn State as the No. 6-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball team closed out the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational at Lamson Park with a 9-0 win in front of a crowd of 1,449. ?
Sanders reached three RBI for the second straight game and closed out the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational 5-for-6 with six RBI over the final two outings.
Brown struck out a career-high 10 batters in landing her first career no-hitter. The 10 strikeouts tied for the highest output by a Cajuns pitcher in 2016 (Kylee Jo Trahan vs. Rutgers on Feb. 26).
Kelsey Vincent joined Sanders in top RBI honors, collecting three with a sacrifice fly and two-run single. Vincent finished as the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational leader with nine RBI. She also increased her career total to 94 with Sunday’s output.
Brown’s no-hitter was the Ragin’ Cajuns pitching staff’s third of the tournament and the shutout was the staff’s fourth in as many games. Louisiana’s pitchers yielded only three base hits in 21 innings during the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational.
No. 6 Louisiana (14-1) returns to action next weekend in a three-game series in Hattiesburg, Miss., at Southern Miss scheduled for Saturday-Sunday, March 5-6 with 1 p.m. start times both days. The team’s next game at Lamson Park is Wednesday, March 9 vs. Longwood, a 6 p.m. single game.
Brown wasted little time in building her strikeout tally, retiring all three Alcorn hitters she faced in the first inning via a strikeout.
Haley Hayden (hit by pitch) and Shellie Landry (single) got aboard the base path in the bottom of the first setting the stage for sacrifice flies from Lexie Elkins and Vincent for a 2-0 lead.
Louisiana added single runs to the lead in the second and third inning, getting an RBI single from Sara Corbello and Sanders, respectively, to increase the advantage to 4-0.
An errant throw by Sanders with one out in the top of the fourth gave the Braves (4-9) their only baserunner of the contest. Brown bounced back with strikeouts of Vanessa Sanders and Montana Holyfield to end the inning.
A bunt single by Kelli Martinez and walks from Landry and Elkins loaded the bases for the Cajuns in the bottom of the fourth. Vincent greeted Alcorn reliever Bianca Benavides with a sharp single back up the middle to score Martinez and Landry and give Louisiana a 6-0 lead.
Aleah Craighton kept the Cajuns attack going with an RBI single up the middle of her own. Benavides then surrendered a two-run single to Sanders, which stretched the lead to 9-0, before being able to close out the inning.
Brown successfully fielded a bunt attempt from Madison Chitwood with two outs in the fifth inning to preserve the no-hitter.
Brown improved to 2-0 with the victory and lowered her ERA to 0.78. She’s now held opponents to five hits and struck out 11 in nine innings.
Sanders upped her season RBI total to 15, the third-highest tally on the team trailing only Elkins (26) and Vincent (18).
For more information on Ragin’ Cajuns softball, fans can follow along with the team on Facebook (/RaginCajunSoftball) and Twitter (@RaginCajunSB).
BASES NOTED: The Ragin’ Cajuns finished to 9-1 on their 10-game homestand which concluded with Sunday’s contest…Total attendance for the three-day Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational tournament was 4,667, an average of 1,556…Kelsey Vincent reached three hits and three RBI for the third time this season, recording her third multiple-hit game and fifth multiple-RBI game…Victoria Brown‘s 10 strikeouts best her previous career high of seven vs. ULM on May 9, 2014 in the Sun Belt Tournament held at Lamson Park…Brown, Macey Smith and Kylee Jo Trahan combined for 32 strikeouts over 21 innings pitched during the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational…Although Lexie Elkins saw her 10-game hitting streak snapped (sacrifice fly, line out, walk), she did extend her current reached base streak to 11 games…Kelsey Vincent has posted at least one RBI in six of the past seven games dating back to last Sunday’s Central Arkansas contest…Adding in Thursday’s doubleheader vs. Texas Tech, Vincent concluded the week 8-of-14 (.571) with two home runs and 12 RBI…Vincent’s performance raised her average from .385 to .450…Kelsey Vincent now has the team’s longest active hitting streak at seven games which ties her career-long streak set March 22-April 4, 2015…Victoria Brown pitched the fourth walk-free game of at least five innings pitched in her career and recorded her second career complete-game shutout (April 26, 2014 at UT Arlington)…Louisiana’s pitching staff now has hurled seven shutouts, and allowed only 26 runs and 67 hits over 89 innings…Cajuns pitchers have yielded only 15 walks over 89 innings…Louisiana batters struck out only once, the 12th time in 15 games with four strikeouts or less…Cajuns hitters have struck out only 44 times and drawn 70 walks in 469 plate appearances…Sunday’s win gave Louisiana a 3-1 series lead all-time vs. Alcorn State…Michael Lotief‘s squad is 14-1 through the season’s first 15 games for the second straight season.