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Softball: Sooners surge past Cajuns, 13-5 – MyKLAF & Radio coverage for doubleheader at 2:00

Kevin Foote, Daily Advertiser, March 15, 2014

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Losing is one thing. It’s a bad feeling.

To some, however, feeling like you contributed as much to the loss as your opponent can be an even more frustrating experience.

Or it can give you more hope for the future, especially when it’s the first day of a three-game weekend series.

That’s kind of the situation the UL Ragin’ Cajuns softball team founds itself in again after Friday’s 13-5 loss to defending national champion Oklahoma at Lamson Park.

The two teams will now try to play a 2 p.m. doubleheader today, moved up from a 4 p.m. original start time to try to beat the bad weather.

UL pitchers walked seven, hit four batters and the team made two key errors defensively to make it 13 free passes to go along with 11 hits.

“Oklahoma’s got a good team, but they didn’t hit that many balls hard,” UL coach Michael Lotief said. “You can’t give up that many free passes. It’s not a new thing. We’ve been doing that for most of the year.

“They have good hitters. It’s tough enough. We’ve got to stop giving away so much.”

In the first inning, UL starter Jordan Wallace walked one, hit one and there was a throwing error in addition to RBI singles by Erin Miller and Callie Parsons for a quick 3-0 lead.

The No. 23-ranked Cajuns (15-6-1) quickly got back into the game with a two-out, two-run homer by Shelbi Redfearn off the scoreboard to narrow the gap to 3-2.

A two-out RBI double by Whitney Ellis made it 4-2 and it stayed that way for two innings as Wallace and OU starter Kelsey Stevens both began to find a bit of a groove for a spell.

But the Cajuns’ giving ways returned in the fifth when the No. 13-ranked Sooners (19-6) scored three runs without a hit for a 7-2 lead. Two walks, two more hit batsman and a wild pitch did the trick.

But again, the Cajuns didn’t die, responding with three runs of their own in the fifth. Natalie Fernandez reached, Haley Hayden was hit by a pitch and Lexie Elkins smashed a three-run home run to narrow the gap to 7-5.

“I like the way the kids competed,” Lotief said. “We just have to continue growing. I like their mindset walking off the field.“

Oklahoma, though, would have none of a hometown comeback. Ellis led off the sixth with a homer and a second run in the frame was nullified for not properly reporting a re-entry for a 8-5 lead heading to the sixth.

That‘s when UL’s final comeback hopes were squashed. Down three, the Cajuns managed to get two runners on with two outs and power-hitting freshman Hayden at the plate.

Unfortunately, Hayden wasn’t able to finish her at-bat because UL was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a pitch that got by the catcher.

“That wasn’t being over-aggressive,“ Lotief“ said. "That was a base-running mistake and that’s my responsibility. I would have liked to seen Haley finish that at-bat. I liked the at-bat she had going.”

Lotief said Christina Hamilton will start one of the two games today.