Apr 12, 2014 11:40 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns battled back after allowing two early runs to No. 15 South Alabama, in game one to win 6-2, but fell in game two 8-4, to earn a Sun Belt Conference doubleheader split with on Saturday at Lamson Park.
The split makes the Cajuns 29-7-1 overall and 10-1 in the Sun Belt, marking the first team in the SBC to get 10 wins on the season, with the Jaguars moving to 32-7 and 9-2 in SBC play. The nightcap loss snaps a 14-game winning streak for the Cajuns and a 10-game conference winning streak.
The Cajuns battled back from an early 2-0 hole in the first game of the doubleheader, using a four-run third inning, highlighted by a three-run homer from Samantha Walsh, to score six unanswered runs, and defeat the Jaguars, 6-2.
The Cajuns got two runners on base before Lexie Elkins beat out an infield single to drive in Natalie Fernandez, to make it 2-1.
Walsh would give the Cajuns the lead sending a 1-2 pitch to deep left field for a no-doubt home run, giving the Cajuns a 4-2 lead.
Shellie Landry added to the lead with her first home run of the season, a solo shot, in the fourth inning, and Haley Hayden hit her 13th of the season in the fifth, also a solo home run, lifting the Cajuns' lead to 6-2.
The Cajuns scored all six runs on the NCAA leader in ERA, Farish Beard, who came into the game with a 17-3 record and a 0.62 ERA.
Christina Hamilton pitched a complete game for the Cajuns, allowing one earned run on ten hits and striking out six to win her 14th game of the season and improve to 14-1.
South Alabama got off to a hot start in game two, scoring three runs on one hit in the first inning, but Lexie Elkins quickly disposed of that lead, hitting a three-run home run after Natalie Fernandez reached on an error and Hayden took a walk to lead off the game.
The Jaguars would take an unrelinquishable lead with a four-run third inning of their own, scoring four runs on two hits and four free passes to take a 7-3 lead, and added to that lead with a run in the fourth, making it 8-3.
The Cajuns found a way to disrupt USA starting pitcher, Hannah Campbells' groove in the sixth, when Shelbi Redfearn hit an RBI single, driving in pinch-runner Meagan Thomas to make it 8-4.
Corin Voinché picked up a one-out single in the seventh, attempting to spark a final comeback attempt, but the Cajuns couldn't get anything else, falling in game two, 8-4 for the split.
The Cajuns and Jaguars will return to Lamson Park for the rubber-match of the series, with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. The Cajuns will remain at home for a midweek contest on Wednesday, April 16 against McNeese State, before returning to conference play next weekend, when they travel to take on Troy. The series will feature a 4 p.m. doubleheader on Friday, and a noon series finale, in the first three games of an eight-game road trip.