May 8, 2014 9:56 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - Shellie Landry sent Lamson Park into a frenzy with a walk-off grand slam to lead the top-seeded Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns past the No. 4 WKU Lady Toppers, 5-3, on Thursday in the Sun Belt Conference Softball Championships at Lamson Park.
After the Cajuns led the bottom of the seventh off with back-to-back groundouts, down 3-1, the Cajuns loaded the bases on back-to-back singles from Haley Hayden and Lexie Elkins to stay alive. Samantha Walsh, the Cajuns' hero with walk-offs in two of the last four games at Lamson Park, coaxed a walk to load the bases, bringing up Landry.
After falling down to an 0-2 count in her at-bat, Landry took a pair of pitches to make the count 2-2, before she sent the Cajuns home with her second grand slam of the season, giving the Cajuns the dramatic win and a ticket to face No. 2-seeded South Alabama Friday at 5 p.m., with a trip to the conference championship on the line.
The Lady Toppers opened the scoring early, getting to Ragin' Cajuns starter Christina Hamilton for two runs on one hit and an error in the top half of the first. They added to that lead in the third when Olivia Watkins stole home, after an attempted pick off at third, to lead 3-0 after two and a half innings.
Lexie Elkins helped the Cajuns cut the gap in the bottom of the third with her second hit of the day, an RBI single, driving in Natalie Fernandez, who led the inning off with a walk, making it 3-1, Lady Toppers.
Hamilton (23-1), the Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year, retired her final seven batters, including a strikeout to end the seventh, to keep the Cajuns in the game, despite three hits behind her through the first six innings, to keep the Cajuns in the game and set up Landry in the seventh.
Hamilton's counterpart, all-conference pitcher Emily Rousseau, had retired seven-straight batters heading into the seventh inning, and raised that number to nine with the back-to-back ground balls to shortstop in the seventh, leading to the two-out singles by Hayden and Elkins.
The Cajuns will take on South Alabama tomorrow afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. The winner will get a birth in the conference championship game on Saturday at 3 p.m., and the loser will play the winner of WKU and ULM at 2 p.m. All remaining games for the Cajuns will be televised on CST.