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Softball: Opportunistic Warhawks Score Early, Hold Off No. 14 Louisiana Softball in Regular Season F
Avoiding a scoreless first inning kept ULM one step ahead of the Ragin’ Cajuns
LAFAYETTE – ULM was able to make single runs in its first two at bats hold up as the visiting Warhawks claimed a 2-1 win over No. 14 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball in the 2021 regular season finale on Saturday at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.
Senior Kaitlyn Alderink narrowly missed out delivering Senior Day heroics in the seventh inning for Louisiana (40-10, 21-3 Sun Belt) when her would-be tying line drive to center field was caught in the air preventing the contest from being extended or the Ragin’ Cajuns mounting a comeback.
The Warhawks (16-30, 6-15 Sun Belt) picked up only two hits in the game and were held hitless over the final five innings by Summer Ellyson. However, the visitors made the most of their opportunities despite how few there were.
With Ellyson and the Ragin’ Cajuns one strike away from retiring the side in the first inning, it was Korie Kreps sneaking in a solo home run for ULM to provide an early 1-0 lead.
The next inning the Warhawks used a leadoff infield single, sacrifice bunt, wild pitch and sacrifice fly to manufacture the tally that proved to be the difference.
Louisiana placed a runner into scoring position each of those first two innings, but Gianni Hulett and the ULM defense escaped the scoring threat each time. Despite scattering seven hits during her 3-1/3 innings in the circle, Hulett was able to hold the Ragin’ Cajuns to a lone run.
That run came in the fourth inning when Sophie Piskos blasted a pinch-hit, bases-loaded RBI single through the right side. The Warhawks quickly rounded up the hard-hit ball to prevent further damage, then reliever Amber Coons collected back-to-back critical outs to preserve the lead.
Coons wound up allowing just one hit during her 3-2/3 innings of relief. She closed out the game by retiring the side in order in the sixth and seventh inning, a feat secured when Kreps leaped to snag Alderink’s line drive.
Ellyson (7.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 3 K) was dealt a hard-luck defeat in her final appearance at Lamson Park. She kept the deficit manageable by limiting the Warhawks to two base runners over the final five innings of no-hit softball.
ULM’s win snapped Louisiana’s stranglehold in recent matchups between the two teams, ending a 24-game win streak for the Ragin’ Cajuns that dated back to the 2012 season.
No. 14 Louisiana makes a return trip to Troy, Ala., and the campus of Troy University for the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Tournament which is scheduled to run Tuesday-Saturday, May 11-15 at the Troy Softball Complex.
The top-seeded Ragin' Cajuns will begin the quest to defend their 2019 tournament title on Wednesday, May 12 and seek to advance to the championship game that is scheduled for Saturday, May 15 at 2:30 p.m. (CDT).
The complete and official tournament bracket, that will reveal the path for Louisiana in the 2021 SBC Tournament, will be announced after the conclusion of the final regular season series which are set to be played Thursday-Saturday, May 6-8.
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