BATON ROUGE – Houston used a fourth-inning home run to claim a 1-0 pitcher’s duel from 21st-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional opener.
Summer Ellyson and Houston’s Savannah Heebner combined to yield just seven hits in the contest. Ellyson struck out nine batters in her first career NCAA postseason start.
Arielle James provided the Cougars with the eventual game-winning run by leading off the fourth inning with a solo home run.
The game featured a four-plus hour weather delay that began momentarily after the start of the second inning, resulting in the conclusion coming in the nine o’clock hour.
The contest marked the start of Louisiana’s 20th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 28th overall in the past 29 seasons.
No. 21 Louisiana (38-15) faces either No. 11 LSU or Fordham in an elimination game during Saturday’s action in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.The game will air on SportsRadio ESPN 1420-AM and a live stream will be available on ESPN3.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After play resumed, the Cougars escaped a Louisiana scoring threat in the second inning. Two were aboard with no outs after Lexie Comeaux doubled and Kourtney Gremillion reached on a throwing error on her sacrifice bunt. A strikeout, tag of Comeaux at home and ground out got UH out of trouble.
James’ solo home run broke Ellyson’s string of nine straight retired. The Ragin’ Cajuns sophomore pitcher did strand five Cougars through the end of the fifth inning to keep the deficit at one run.
Kelli Martinez led off the sixth inning with a walk and wound up at third base following a sacrifice bunt and foul fly out. Heebner dialed up a strikeout to close the inning and preserve the lead.
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