May 11, 2013 3:55 PM by UL Sports Information
TROY, Ala. - The Ragin' Cajuns run in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament was ended Saturday morning as they fell to top-seeded Western Kentucky in ten innings, by a score of 7-4 on May 11 at the Troy Softball Complex in Troy, Ala. The Cajuns defeated WKU yesterday to force today's game by a score of 3-2.
The teams exchanged runs for the first six innings before a scoreless seventh inning and subsequent extra innings, before a three-run outburst in the tenth to win it for WKU.
It was WKU that struck first with two runs in the first inning. The first run came by an error with two runners on base, and the second two batters later with a ground out to third base.
Four of the seven WKU runs came on plays that also recorded outs.
The Cajuns answered in their half of the first with a Sarah Draheim single scoring Nerissa Myers. It was Draheim's first of four hits in the game, in which she finished 4-for-6 with two RBI. She finished the tournament with 11 hits, a Sun Belt Tournament record, topping the old record of nine, set by Mandie Fischback of Florida Atlantic in 2007.
The Cajuns followed suit in the second and third innings, scoring single runs in those as well. A bases-loaded hit-by-pitch to Brianna Cherry tied the game in the second inning and Matte Haack sent the first pitch of the third inning over the fence to give the Cajuns their only lead of the day.
WKU responded with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, the first coming on a groundout to shortstop and the second on a double to left center, taking the lead 4-3.
Louisiana tied it up in the sixth with Draheim's third hit of the game, a single up the middle to score Myers.
That forced the Cajuns to play their third extra-inning game of the tournament.
The Cajuns had a good chance to end the game in the eighth inning with one out and the bases loaded, but a great play on a very hard hit ball by Shellie Landry doubled off the Cajun runners who were caught no-mans land.
The Lady Toppers opened the tenth inning with a solo-home run by second-team All-Sun Belt shortstop Amanda Thomas. They added two more runs in the inning, to go on and defeat Louisiana 7-4.
Victoria Brown got the start for the Cajuns and tossed 9.1 innings, allowing all seven runs, six earned, on 11 hits and three walks. It was the most she has thrown in her career. She threw the first 5.1 innings before yielding to Kristin Martinez out of the bullpen. Martinez finished the fifth inning before Brown came back for the seventh inning.
The loss pushed the Cajuns record to 41-13 overall. The Cajuns entered the weekend ranked 21st in the NFCA polls and 20th in the RPI polls.
The Cajuns will find out the next step in their season Sunday at 9 P.M. when the NCAA Softball Tournament Selection Show. The show is airing on ESPN U with the NCAA Regionals scheduled for May 16-19.