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Defense Leads to Offense in Fourth Inning, Louisiana Breaks Free from McNeese

Ragin’ Cajuns catch Cowgirls attempting to sneak across a run, then capitalize at the plate
Sophie Piskos UL SFB.jpg
Posted at 11:10 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 00:10:35-05

LAFAYETTE – With a heads-up defensive play and a two-run double from Samantha Graeter in the fourth inning the No. 22-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns re-established control and went on to claim a 5-3 win over McNeese on Wednesday, March 9 at Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park.

The contest was knotted a 2-all in the fourth inning when the Cowgirls, having drawn the tie in the previous inning, attempted to sneak across a run on a pop fly to shallow center field. Louisiana’s Stormy Kotzlenick spun around after the catch and connected with Sophie Piskos to throw out a runner who had tagged up from third base.

It took the Ragin’ Cajuns (13-4) only three batters into the next half inning to capitalize on the momentum boost.

After Jourdyn Campbell doubled to lead off the bottom of the fourth and Alexa Langeliers walked, Graeter doubled into the right center field gap to score them both and allow Louisiana to reclaim the lead 4-2. Kotzelnick doubled home Graeter later in the inning for an insurance run.

From there Kandra Lamb would close out a stellar relief effort in the circle that began in the top of the fourth inning with runners on second and third base and no outs. Lamb struck out the first Cowgirl she faced, then the momentum-changing double play occurred.

Over the final four innings, Lamb limited McNeese (10-9) to a single run off of just three hits and struck out six.

The Ragin’ Cajuns placed multiple runners on base in the first two innings off of McNeese starting pitcher Ashley Vallejo and scratched for single runs each time and a quick 2-0 lead.

The Cowgirls turned back-to-back singles to start off the third inning into a pair of runs. Meghan Schorman notched a strikeout with a runner in scoring position to keep the visitors for entertaining the thought of pulling ahead.

Louisiana posted its fifth straight win over McNeese and 15th overall in the last 16 meetings. The Ragin’ Cajuns upped their all-time series lead over the Cowgirls to 105-25.

The I-10 neighbors are scheduled to meet again on April 6 in Lake Charles to complete the annual home-and-home season series.

NUMBERS TO KNEAUX 

0: Facing runners at second and third base with no outs in the fourth inning, Kandra Lamb started her relief appearance holding the Cowgirls without a run.

2: Two doubles, one each from Samantha Graeter and Stormy Kotzelinck, resulted in Louisiana breaking a 2-all tie in the fourth inning.

6: Kandra Lamb struck out six of the 16 batters she faced over her four innings in relief.

8: Season RBI total for Samantha Graeter in only 19 plate appearances.   

12: The run plated in the first inning marked the 12th time (in 17 games) that Louisiana has scored first.

12-0: Louisiana’s record when scoring first.

.563: Season batting average for Samantha Graeter following Wednesday’s performance (hitting 9-for-16).

UP NEXT 

The 22nd-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns start Sun Belt Conference play form Friday-Sunday, March 11-13 welcoming Georgia State (7-12) to Lamson Park for the conference-opening series.

The weekend series starts Friday at 6:00 p.m., continues Saturday at 2:00 p.m., then concludes on Sunday at Noon.

All three games of the series can be heard locally on ESPN Lafayette 103.3 FM and 1420 AM and nationwide through the ESPN Lafayette app with Steve Peloquin and Bobby Neveaux providing commentary. Live stats can be accessed at CajunStats.com.

FOLLOW THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Follow the Ragin' Cajuns on Facebook (/RaginCajunsSB [facebook.com]), Twitter (@RaginCajunsSB [twitter.com]) and Instagram (@Louisiana.SB [instagram.com]) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Softball.

Fans are encouraged to stay engaged with the Ragin' Cajuns by downloading the #GeauxCajuns app. Click here [apps.apple.com] for iOS/Apple platforms and here [play.google.com] for Android platforms.

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