Information provided by UL Athletics
LAFAYETTE, LA - The 11th-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns softball team advanced to the NCAA Super Regional round for the fourth straight season and sixth time in the past eight seasons after claiming a 9-1 (6 inn.) win over Baylor Sunday evening in the winner take-all NCAA Lafayette Regional championship game.
No. 13 national seed Louisiana (42-10) advanced to the NCAA Auburn Super Regional set for Friday-Saturday, May 22-23 at Jane B. Moore Field in Auburn, Ala., against No. 4 national seed Auburn (52-9). The super regional begins Friday at 1 p.m. (CDT).
Baylor (41-17) avoided elimination in the first game of the Lafayette Regional championship round by posting a 6-2 victory.
The Cajuns scored the first five runs of the nightcap to secure the regional title. Samantha Walsh put the finishing touches with a walk-off, three-run home run in the sixth inning.
Jordan Wallace (18-5) earned her third win of the season, and second in the Lafayette Regional, against the 18th-ranked Bears by holding the visitors to five hits over six innings. She struck out five and began the game with four straight scoreless innings as the Cajuns built their lead.
Walsh, 2-for-4 at the plate, collected her game-high three RBI on the walk-off homer. Lexie Elkins posted two RBI, the final one coming on her school-record breaking 31st home run of the season in the third inning.
Louisiana claimed its 10th NCAA Regional title and improved its record in the round to 56-32. The Cajuns have won the last three regionals held at Lamson Park (2012, 2014, 2015).
Baylor's Heather Stearns, who held the Cajuns to two runs and five hits in the game one victory, began to struggle with her command in the second inning and Louisiana would eventually break a scoreless tie.
Walks issued to Kelsey Vincent and DJ Sanders played a factor in the bases being loaded with no outs. A sacrifice fly by Aleah Craighton gave UL a 1-0 lead. A second run scored on a Kelli Martinez ground out to third base as Leandra Maly (bunt single) broke from third base on the putout of Martinez.
Shellie Landry and Elkins combined for a 7-2 double play for the final outs of the top of the third inning to keep the Bears off the scoreboard and preserve the 2-0 lead after runners moved to second and third base on a Lindsey Cargill sacrifice bunt.
The Cajuns' second double play of the game, initiated by Wallace, came with the bases loaded in the fifth inning and a run already in for Baylor that cut the lead to 5-1. Wallace fielded a grounder off the bat of Bears cleanup hitter Shelby Friudenberg tossed to Elkins at home who relayed to Vincent to complete the 1-2-3 double play.
The Bears turned a double play of the their own on a line drive by Craigthton in the bottom of the fifth inning to help reliever Kendall Potts post a scoreless frame and hold their deficit at 5-1.
Wallace retired Baylor in order in the top of the sixth inning, turning it back over to the hitters who jump started by a pinch-hit home run by Sara Corbello and capped off by Walsh's three-run walk-off erupted for four runs to enforce the run rule.