LAKE CHARLES – 22nd-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball led the entirety of the contest for the third straight game and captured a 5-3 win over McNeese on Wednesday at Cowgirl Diamond.
Louisiana (29-11) struck in the first inning with a Lexie Comeaux RBI single and stretched its lead with a three-spot in the fourth inning.
After McNeese (30-16) drew within a run following a three-run homer in the fifth inning, the Ragin’ Cajuns responded in the sixth inning when Alissa Dalton capped off back-to-back two-out hits with a run-scoring single.
Summer Ellyson picked up her 15th win of the season by tossing 6-2/3 innings of scoreless softball.
The contest marked the final non-conference game of the regular season for Louisiana.
No. 22 Louisiana returns to Lamson Park for a Sun Belt Conference series with Georgia Southern (23-20, 7-11 Sun Belt) set for Saturday-Sunday, April 21-22. The Ragin’ Cajuns and Eagles are scheduled to play a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday and 11 a.m. single game on Sunday.
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Comeaux led the way with two RBI. She was responsible for the game’s first run and the first tally of the three-run third inning by drawing a bases-loaded walk.
Alissa Dalton (2-for-4), Brittany Rodriguez (2-for-4) and Comeaux (2-for-3) each posted two-hit performances in leading Louisiana to 10 hits, the sixth time in the past eight games reaching double digits.
Ellyson yielded only three hits on the way to posting her 14th start (out of 21) with one earned run of fewer allowed. After the Cowgirls crept within a run on Erika Piancastelli’s home run in the fifth inning, she re-entered the game and proceeded to close out the final 2-2/3 innings unscathed.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Rodriguez doubled with one out in the first inning to move into scoring position for Comeaux’s RBI single which bounced up the middle past diving infielders.
Ellyson and the defense worked around a leadoff double in the second inning to preserve the lead.
The Ragin’ Cajuns quickly loaded the bases in the third inning as Dalton led off with a single, Rodriguez reached on an error and Kara Gremillion reached when no defender was covering first base on a bunt attempt. Comeaux’s walk made it 2-0, then two more runs were added following a bunt attempt by Jolie Readeaux and McNeese throwing error on a stolen base attempt.
McNeese took advantage of a pair of one-out walks issued by Kylee Jo Trahan in the fifth inning when Piancastelli homered and cut the Cajuns lead to 4-3.
Louisiana picked up an insurance run when Beth Ashley pinch hit and started a two-out rally with a single. Aeriyl Mass re-entered to run, stole second and scored when Dalton lifted a single into shallow center field.
– Alissa Dalton stretched her season-and career-best hitting streak to 13 games (dates back to South Alabama series opener). She picked up her 17th multiple-hit game.
– Kara Gremillion played, and started, in her 150th career contest.
– Lexie Comeaux’s RBI total increased her season total to 23, the second-highest count on the squad.
– The Ragin’ Cajuns are hitting .350 over the eight-game stretch in which they’ve reached double digits in hits six times. Kara Gremillion (.519), Alissa Dalton (.455) and Lexie Comeaux (.440) are each hitting above .400 during the timeframe.
– Louisiana extended its series win streak over McNeese to 10 games. It marked the 100th win in the all-time series (Cajuns now lead 100-24).
– The contest featured siblings in opposing dugouts. Sisters Casidy Chaumont (Louisiana) and Carleigh Chaumont (McNeese) competed against one another at the collegiate level for the very first time.