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Softball: Timely Hits and Ellyson’s Pitching Carry No. 7 Louisiana in Regional Opener
Alissa Dalton and Lexie Comeaux step up in win over Southeast Missouri at the NCAA Oxford Regional
OXFORD, Miss. – The team's most clutch hitter in recent weeks, a veteran who delivered in the moment and the pitching of Summer Ellyson were the key ingredients in a 3-2 win over Southeast Missouri for No. 7 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball on Friday at the NCAA Oxford Regional.
Alissa Dalton came through in a two-out situation once again when she plated two runs in the third inning, a key response after the Redhawks scored in the top half.
Later with the game tied in the sixth inning it was Lexie Comeaux adjusting her swing to the situation at hand, dumping a single into left field to score Dalton with the winning run.
Those two key moments provided the offensive boost to another sensational outing for Ellyson (38-4, 1.01 ERA) who struck out 13 batters in her 13th double-digit effort of the season.
Louisiana (51-4) claimed its 28th consecutive win dating back to March 22, tying the program record streak first set by the 2012 team.
No. 7 Louisiana faces the winner of Friday's evening contest between Ole Miss and Chattanooga on Saturday at Noon in the winner's bracket final of the NCAA Oxford Regional.
The game will be televised on ESPN3 and broadcasted in the Acadiana region on ESPN 1420-AM and worldwide via the ESPN 1420 app.
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Dalton finished 2-for-3 at the plate for her team-leading 17th multiple-hit game, while the pair of two-out RBI upped her team-high total in the situation to 24. She also made the game-saving play on defense when she leaped to catch a line drive of a would-be hit after the RBI triple in the fifth inning forged a tie.
Kourtney Gremillion and Keeli Milligan both delivered their base hit in the third inning rally, singling to get runners aboard and place pressure on the SEMO defense. Julie Rawls later had the key walk which kept the inning alive for Dalton.
Raina O'Neal matched Dalton's effort at the plate (2-for-3), with her final hit in the sixth inning moving Dalton (leadoff bunt single) into scoring position for the game-winning tally.
Comeaux's hit not only gave Louisiana the lead for good, it marked her 40th of the season allowing her to reach the mark for the third straight season.
Ellyson tallied multiple strikeouts in four innings wrapped up by three consecutive strikeouts in the seventh inning after the Redhawks (45-17) placed the leadoff hitter on base by catcher's interference.
- Over the past week, Alissa Dalton has generated five RBI in a two-out situation for Louisiana. All three RBI at last week's Sun Belt Tournament came with two outs.
- Summer Ellyson's 13 strikeouts increased her season total to 337, a figure which represents the fourth-most in a season in program history. She's 13 strikeouts away from joining Brooke Mitchell (524 in 2004) and Jordan Wallace(382 in 2013) as the lone pitchers to record 350.
- The 13 strikeouts were an NCAA Tournament-high for Summer Ellyson. Her previous best was nine in both matchups with Houston at the 2018 Baton Rouge Regional.
- Louisiana improved to 77-59 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, which includes a 65-36 mark in the regional round.
- On Saturday, the Ragin' Cajuns will play for a chance to advance to Championship Sunday of an NCAA Regional for the 12th consecutive season.
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