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Softball: Quick Responses Key to No. 7 Louisiana Opening SBC Tournament Victorious
Ragin' Cajuns had an answer for each time host-Texas State claimed a lead
SAN MARCOS, Texas – Faced with a deficit at the midway point of the game, No. 7 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball answered the call with a three-run fourth inning which led to a 4-3 win over Texas State in the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
Trailing 2-1 after a wild pitch provided the Bobcats with the lead in the top half of the fourth, Raina O'Neal drilled a double deep into the left field corner to trigger the uprising for Louisiana (48-4).
O'Neal scored the tying run on a passed ball, then Lexie Comeauxdelivered an RBI double and Kourtney Gremillion followed with an RBI single as the Ragin' Cajuns forged ahead 4-2 before an out was recorded.
Louisiana withstood a push from Texas State (29-24) in the seventh inning after an RBI single trimmed the lead to one run with only one out recorded.
The Ragin' Cajuns extended their winning streak to 25 games establishing the mark for the second-longest win streak in program history and moving within three games of the record (28 in 2012). It was also the 20th true road win of the season, tying top-ranked Oklahoma for the nation lead.
No. 7 Louisiana faces Coastal Carolina at 11 a.m. on Friday in the winner's bracket final contest of the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The winner secures a spot in Saturday's 1 p.m. championship game.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Julie Rawls beat the thrown on an infield single with two outs in the first inning, key to keeping the inning alive for the bases-loaded hit by pitch which forced home a run. That evened the score and kept the Bobcats from carrying momentum into the second inning.
Kourtney Gremillion reached base in all three plate appearances, adding two walks to her run-scoring single which proved to be the winning tally.
The doubles by O'Neal and Comeaux in the fourth inning were their 10th of the season making them the third and fourth Ragin' Cajuns with double digits this season.
Kara Gremillion executed a perfect bunt after O'Neal's double to keep the pressure on Texas State starting pitcher Dalilah Barrera and placed the tying run in position for the passed ball on reliever Meagan King's first pitch.
Summer Ellyson allowed only one earned run and struck out six Bobcats in extending her nation-leading win total to 35. She moved into a tie with Melissa Coronado for second place on the program's single-season wins list.
- For the 10th consecutive Sun Belt Tournament, the Ragin' Cajuns advanced into the winner's bracket after their opening contest.
- Thursday's game marked the seventh SBC Tournament meeting with Texas State, but the first matchup held prior to winner's bracket play. The Ragin' Cajuns hold a 7-1 edge over the Bobcats in the event.
- Louisiana improved to 59-9 overall in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
- The opposition scored first for just the ninth time in 52 games.
- Lexie Comeaux and Raina O'Neal extended their hitting streaks to five games – the longest active on the squad.
- Lexie Comeaux tied her career high figure and reached 10 doubles for the second straight season.
- For the 35th time in 43 starts, Summer Ellyson limited the opposition to one earned run or less. Since March 22, she's allowed more than one earned run only once.
- Summer Ellyson's 35 wins are the most recorded by a Ragin' Cajuns pitcher since Brooke Mitchell posted the program-record 45 in 2004. The total matches the second-highest tally in the record book recorded by Melissa Coronado in 2001.
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