UL Softball Advances To Regional Final
The 21st-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns are in an NCAA Regional final for the 11-consecutive year.
Louisiana stayed alive on the second day of play in the Baton Rouge, La. Regional at Tiger Park, defeating the Fordham Rams, 15-3, in 5 innings, before downing the Houston Cougars, 7-2.
The Cajuns, who have now qualified for a regional final every year since 2008, moved their all-time record in NCAA Tournament history to 75-58 with the two victories.
UL, who appeared in appeared in 5-consecutive NCAA Super Regionals, from 2012-2016, before having their streak broken by LSU in the Baton Rouge Regional last year, is appearing in an NCAA Regional for the 20th-consecutive year, and for the 28th time in the last 29 years.
After falling to Houston, 1-0, on Friday, Louisiana needed two wins to advance to Championship Sunday, which they accomplished.
In their first game against Fordham, Louisiana got on the scoreboard first, plating four runs in the top half of the first inning, including a run-scoring single by Kara Gremillion, a sacrifice-fly by Alissa Dalton, and run-scoring singles off the bats off of Lexie Comeaux and Kourtney Gremillion, to take a quick 4-0 lead.
Fordham drew closer, scoring three runs in the bottom half of the first inning, to trim the deficit to 4-3. But after that, it was all Cajuns.
UL pushed a run across the plate in the top of the second inning, to make it 5-3, before adding four runs in the fourth, and six more in the fifth, as they coasted to the 12-run, 5-inning, mercy-rule triumph.
Louisiana, who outhit Fordham, 13-5, was led at the plate by Comeaux, Kourtney Gremillion, and Casidy Chaumont, who all collected two hits, while Comeaux and Chaumont drove in three runs apiece.
Kylie Jo Trahan (6-1) recorded the win for the Cajuns, tossing four shutout innings, while allowing only one hit.
Paige Rauch (14-3) suffered the loss for the Rams, allowing 2 runs, without recording an out.
With the victory, Louisiana improved to 39-15, overall, while Fordham's season came to an end with an overall record of 33-23.
The win advanced the Cajuns to the late game on Saturday, where they faced the Houston Cougars, a team they lost to on Friday.
In the UL/UH match-up, Houston got on the scoreboard first, plating a run in the bottom half of the first inning, when Arielle James singled to begin the frame, before later scoring on a two-out single off the bat of Sarah Queen, to grab a quick 1-0 lead.
Louisiana answered, scoring 3 runs on 4 hits in the top half of the second inning, including a solo home run by Comeaux, her 5th of the season, followed by run-scoring singles by Kourtney Gremillion and Carrie Boswell, as well as an RBI double off the bat of Brittany Rodriguez, to give them a 3-1 advantage.
The Cajuns widened their lead in the top half of the third inning, when Boswell delivered a clutch two-out single, scoring two runs, to make it 5-1.
UL would make it 6 unanswered runs in the top half of the 4th inning, when Kelli Martinez singled, prior to crossing the plate on a single by Kara Gremillion, to extend their lead to 6-1.
The Cougars trimmed the deficit in the bottom half of the 5th inning, when Queen came through with a two-out single, scoring a run, to make it 6-2.
UL added an insurance run in the top half of the 7th inning, when Comeaux blasted a solo homer, her second of the game, and 6th of the season, to make it 7-2.
That would be more than enough for the Cajuns, as they would go on to the 5-run victory, and a spot in the regional finals.
Louisiana, who outhit Houston, 11-4, was paced at the plate by Comeaux, who homered twice and drove home two runs, while Boswell and Rodriguez each collected two hits and two RBI's.
Summer Ellyson (22-9) recorded the win in the circle for the Cajuns, limiting Houston to 2 runs on 4 hits, while striking out 9.
Trystan Melancon (6-9) suffered the loss for the Cougars, allowing three runs on three hits in 2.0 innings of work.
With the win, Louisiana improved to 40-15 on the season, while Houston's season came to an end with an overall mark of 37-22.
The wins move Louisiana into the regional finals where they will face the top-seeded LSU Tigers.
The Cajuns will have to defeat LSU twice to advance to NCAA Super Regional play.
First-pitch is scheduled for 1 o'clock on Sunday afternoon.
You can hear all the play-by-play action on Sports Radio ESPN 1420 & espn1420.com, beginning with the pregame show at 12:45.
COMPLETE NCAA BATON ROUGE REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, May 17, 2018
G1: Houston 1, Louisiana 0
G2: LSU 9 Fordham 0
Saturday, May 18, 2018
G3: 12 p.m. – LSU 1 Houston 0
G4: 2:30 p.m. – Louisiana 15 Fordham 3
G5: 5 p.m. – Louisiana 7 Houston 2
Sunday, May 19, 2018
G6: 1 p.m. – Louisiana vs. LSU
G7: 3:30 p.m. – Louisiana vs. LSU (if necessary)