ARLINGTON, Texas – 22nd-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball claimed the series victory from UTA with a 3-2 triumph in an extra-inning bout that lasted 12 innings at Allan Saxe Field.
Louisiana (33-13, 18-6 Sun Belt) broke through in the fifth extra frame by taking advantage of a pair of Mavericks fielding miscues. Casey Dixon, who pitched five scoreless innings of relief, notched a strikeout with the bases loaded to secure the win.
UTA (25-22, 13-10 Sun Belt) forged extra innings when a leadoff triple in the seventh inning led to a run which evened the game at 2-all.
With the win, the Ragin’ Cajuns secured a Top 2 spot in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament which guarantees a bye from opening day action on May 9 at Lamson Park.
Louisiana also extended its string of consecutive Sun Belt Conference series won to 45 dating back to March 2013.
No. 22 Louisiana concludes regular season play and celebrates Senior Weekend at Lamson Park Friday-Saturday, May 4-5. The Ragin’ Cajuns meet in-state foe ULM in a Sun Belt series which starts with a 7 p.m. single game Friday and wraps up with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday.
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Designated player Carrie Boswell went 2-for-5 at the plate for her second straight multiple-hit game. Kalyn Watts (double) and Alissa Dalton (sacrifice fly) each tallied and RBI in giving Louisiana a 2-0 lead in regulation.
Summer Ellyson struck out six over seven innings in the circle which carried the Ragin’ Cajuns into extra innings. Dixon held the Mavs to a single hit during her extra-innings relief stint and picked up her second win of the series.
HOW IT HAPPENED
A series of three straight two-out hits in the second inning, capped off by a run-scoring double from Watts put Louisiana on the board first. In the third inning Kelli Martinez (single) and Kara Gremillion (hit by pitch) reached to leadoff, then a sacrifice bunt and Dalton’s sacrifice fly manufactured a run for a 2-0 edge.
The Mavericks picked up a run in the fourth inning off a solo home run from Reagan Wright, then drew even in the seventh after pinch hitter Bryanna Datko’s leadoff triple set up a run.
Dixon and UTA starting pitcher Randi Phillips traded scoreless frames until the 12th inning when the hosts were the first to commit an error.
After Casidy Chaumont was hit by a pitch, Watts laid down a bunt which led to a wild throw that moved Chaumont to third. On the next pitch Phillips misplayed a grounder off the bat of Martinez which allowed Chaumont to score and break the tie.
– Casey Dixon pitched 12 innings in the series and limited UTA to a single run and six hits.
– Alissa Dalton finished with five RBI in the series, posting at least one each game. She exits the weekend with a team-leading total of 28 RBI.
– For the 22nd time in 25 games started, Summer Ellyson yielded three earned runs or fewer. She picked up her 19th appearance with five-plus strikeouts.
– Casey Dixon has allowed just one earned run in her last five appearances, a span of 18 innings.
– Carrie Boswell has collected three multiple-hit games and is hitting .368 (7-for-19) since moving into the designated player role back on April 21.
– Louisiana’s pitching staff held an opponent to two runs or less for the 26th time in 46 outings (23-3 record).
– Louisiana is now 6-3 in extra inning games. Sunday’s contest marked the fourth time the squad played at least 11 innings.
– The Ragin’ Cajuns increased their all-time series lead over UTA to 26-6. Louisiana now holds a 13-2 edge in Sun Belt regular season games.
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