Mar 2, 2014 10:30 PM by UL Sports Information
GULFPORT, Miss. - A Kelsey Vincent single in the fourth inning plated two runs to return the lead to the 24th-ranked Ragin' Cajuns softball team and Christina Hamilton faced one batter over the minimum in three innings of relief to make a 3-2 advantage stand over Memphis in Louisiana's final contest at the Inaugural Gulf Coast Softball Classic held at the Gulfport Sportsplex.
No. 24 Louisiana (14-5-1) finished the Gulf Coast Classic with a 5-0 mark and was the lone team to finish the event (10 teams total) with an unblemished mark.
The Ragin' Cajuns, now riding a season-best six-game win streak, are set to host McNeese State on March 5 and Lamar on March 6 in 6 p.m. contests at Lamson Park next week before a weekend break (March 7-9).
Hamilton combined with Cajuns starter Jordan Wallace to limit the Tigers (8-8) to just two hits - the second straight outing the pitching staff tossed a two-hitter. Hamilton completed the Gulf Coast Classic holding opponents to just seven hits in 14 innings of work.
The Cajuns scored first when Shelbi Redfearn singled up the middle with two outs in the bottom of the first to plate Natalie Fernandez (leadoff single).
Wallace held Memphis hitless through the first three innings, but the Tigers would manage an equalizing run in the third inning on a throwing error. A leadoff walk gave the Tigers the base runner who would later score from third while the Cajuns were attempting to run down a subsequent runner caught in between first and second base.
Memphis took a brief 2-1 lead following a Kelly Braman solo home run in the top of the fourth.
Louisiana would load the bases in the bottom half then Vincent deposited a single into left field off Tigers' starter Ellen Roberts to score pinch runner Leandra Maly and Shellie Landry with the tying and go-ahead run, respectively.
Hamilton replaced Wallace in the circle and protected the lead for her first save of the season. Lindsay Crowdus looped an infield single over the reach of Corin Voinche at shortstop to start the fifth inning, but Hamilton bore down and began a string of nine consecutive batters retired to wrap up the victory.
Vincent played hero for Louisiana a second straight day. In Saturday's 6-2 win over Chattanooga it was her pinch-hit home run that returned the lead to the Cajuns.
Fernandez and Redfearn each tallied two hits, both collecting their seventh multiple-hit game of the season which leads the squad. Fernandez stretched her season-high hitting streak to seven games.
Louisiana surrendered just one earned run to Memphis as the Cajuns capped off the Gulf Coast Classic limiting the opposition to just one earned run over the final 21 innings pitched.
The Cajuns improved to 5-0 in one-run contests and held the opposition to two runs or less for the fourth time in five outings in the Gulf Coast Softball Classic.
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