BOONE, N.C. – A three-run first inning held up for App State as the host-Mountaineers captured a 4-1 win over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team on Friday, April 22 in the opening game of a Sun Belt Conference series at Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium.
Kandra Lamb closed out the first inning and held the Mountaineers to a single run while striking out 14 batters the final 5-1/3 innings, however the Ragin’ Cajuns offense was unable to find a breakthrough moment against App State starting pitcher Delani Buckner.
The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for Louisiana (32-11, 15-4 Sun Belt), and was the first on the team’s week-long Spring Break trip. Starting pitcher Sam Landry was dealt her first loss in Sun Belt play.
HOW IT HAPPENED
App State (26-18, 8-9 Sun Belt) initiated an early momentum shift when Buckner induced a double play ball to offset back-to-back walks the Ragin’ Cajuns had drawn to start the game.
The Mountaineers carried the momentum into the bottom half of the first, engineering a two-out rally after an intentional walk to take hold of the lead. Mary Pierce Barnes collected an infield single to extend the inning further, then Baylee Morton was hit by a pitch and McKenzie McCullen delivered a two-run single to get App State on the board.
Lamb retired nine of the first 11 batters she faced with a strikeout as the Mountaineers offense was settled down. Then in the fourth inning it was a solo home run from Karly Heath that put the Ragin’ Cajuns on the board, trimming the deficit to 3-1.
Buckner was able to keep the leadoff batter from reaching base for the final five innings, preventing any big inning for Louisiana from developing. The final hurdle was completed when she coaxed back-to-back pop ups in the sixth inning after Sophie Piskos singled and Melissa Mayeux walked with one out.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE BOX SCORE
Heath (1-for-2, HR, RBI) moved into a tie for the team lead with her eighth home run of the season, matching the total she posted in her debut with Louisiana in 2021. She picked up her 14th extra base hit (4 doubles, 2 triples, 8 home runs) out of 21 total hits recorded this season.
With Heath’s home run, Louisiana reached 50 for the season marking the third consecutive completed season (2019, 2021, 2022) reaching 50 home runs in the Glasco era.
Lamb (5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 14 K) established a new career-high total for strikeouts (14). The total bested her previous career-best 13 from the Georgia State series opener and was her fourth double-digit strikeout total of the season and eighth of her career.
For the 10th consecutive appearance Lamb yielded one earned run or less. During the streak, which began on March 26 with her five-inning perfect game vs. UT Arlington, Lamb has surrendered just four earned runs and 12 base hits over 31-1/3 innings pitched.
Louisiana seeks to even the series with App State on Saturday, April 23 when the two squads meet at 1:00 p.m. (CDT) at Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium in Boone, N.C.
The matchup is being televised on ESPN+ and a radio broadcast with commentary from Ian Auzenne is available in the Acadiana region on ESPN Lafayette 103.3 FM and 1420 AM and worldwide via the ESPN Lafayette app. Live stats can be accessed at CajunStats.com
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