LAFAYETTE — With two outs in the seventh inning, Ciara Bryan took the second offering from South Alabama relief pitcher Olivia Lackie and sent it sailing into the corner in left field for an RBI double that broke a scoreless tie and allowed No. 16 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns to walk off with a 1-0 win on Saturday at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.
The game-winning tally was set after Kandra Lamb, who dominated in the circle with a career-high 12 strikeouts, induced an infield pop up in the top half of the final frame to strand a Jaguars runner at third base.
Kendall Talley immediately followed with a leadoff single in the home half of the seventh and was promptly placed into scoring position by a textbook sacrifice bunt from Karly Heath.
A strikeout got South Alabama within an out from sending the game to extras, but Bryan came through with a clutch moment for Louisiana (18-6, 4-1 Sun Belt) – her game-winning heroics extending her career-best hitting streak to 17 games.
It was also the second time in as many weekends Bryan produced a game-winning hit in the seventh inning, adding to the two-run home run in the series finale at UT Arlington.
Lamb yielded just three hits to the Jaguars (16-10, 6-2 Sun Belt) and combined with Summer Ellyson to hold the visitors hitless (0-for-4) with a runner on third base and less than two outs. Ellyson induced two critical outs with runners on the corners and no outs in the seventh inning, then Lamb re-entered with the same situation and notched her biggest out of the afternoon.
USA starting pitcher Allie Hughen was dealt a hard-luck defeat after allowing Talley to reach in the seventh inning and score after Lackie entered the contest. Hughen left the Ragin’ Cajuns stranded with the bases loaded in the first inning and stopped a runner at third base two more times before the final inning.
By claiming a game from South Alabama by an identical score for the second straight day, Louisiana captured the weekend series – the 58th consecutive Sun Belt Conference series victory dating back to March 2013.
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