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Softball: Shutout of McNeese Provides Softball a Return Trip to Championship Sunday
Ragin’ Cajuns bounce back from earlier defeat on Saturday, set up rematch with Louisiana State
BATON ROUGE – Five lockdown innings pitched by Summer Ellyson and another big hit from Karly Heath led No. 15 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball to a 4-0 win over McNeese on Saturday (May 22) in an elimination game at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.
With the win Louisiana (46-11) advanced to Championship Sunday of an NCAA Regional for the 13th consecutive appearance.
The Ragin' Cajuns earned a rematch with No. 16 Louisiana State (34-19) for the Baton Rouge Regional title and a spot in next week's Super Regional round. The two teams are set to take the field at 1 p.m. on Sunday (May 23), with Louisiana needing two wins to claim the title.
Ellyson (5.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 7 K) struck out seven over five innings and prevented the Cowgirls (35-26) from stringing together multiple hits in any inning as she bounced back from an early exit in Saturday afternoon's winner's bracket contest with Louisiana State.
Heath (1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI) created all of the offense the Ragin' Cajuns pitchers would need when she launched a two-out, two-run home run to right center in the second inning.
Louisiana added single runs in the third and seventh inning off of McNeese miscues to further extend the advantage.
Casey Dixon and Kandra Lamb each recorded an inning of scoreless relief to preserve the Ragin' Cajuns' second shutout of the Baton Rouge Regional. Dixon induced a double play ball to erase a leadoff single in the sixth inning, then in the seventh Lamb promptly retired three straight batters after the first two Cowgirls reached base.
Ellyson posted her second win of the regional and the 99th of her collegiate career. The Lafayette native is now one win shy of the century mark, which has previously been reached by only Brooke Mitchell (119 wins from 2002-05) and Kyla Hall (104 wins from 1991-94).
Heath picked up her second extra base hit of the weekend and increased her team-leading RBI total in the regional to three. The second-inning home run marked her eighth of the season, which ranks second on the team and extends her personal single-season best total.
No. 15 Louisiana returns to Tiger Park on Sunday (May 23) to meet No. 16 Louisiana State in the championship round of the Baton Rouge Regional beginning at 1 p.m. The Ragin' Cajuns need two wins to advance to the NCAA Super Regional round.
Louisiana seeks to reach the program's eighth Super Regional and first since 2016 (Norman, Okla.).
Live video coverage is available on ESPN3, and Ragin' Cajuns fans can also follow along on SportsRadio ESPN 1420-AM and at CajunStats.com.
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