RUSTON – The No. 24-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team protected a lead for four innings then pulled away with a six-spot in the final inning for an 8-1 win over Louisiana Tech on Wednesday, May 3 in Ruston which locked up the 40th win of the 2023 season.
Louisiana (40-13) reached the 40-win mark for the 24th consecutive completed season, a streak which dates back to 1999. The accomplishment this spring came with the nation’s No. 4-rated strength of schedule.
The Ragin’ Cajuns broke up a scoreless affair in the third inning at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field with three straight hits to start the frame. Victoria Valdez singled, Maddie Hayden’s triple scored pinch runner Kramer Eschete and Mihyia Davis poked a single into left field to bring home Hayden for a 2-0 advantage.
Sam Landry (4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 K) continued to hold the Lady Techsters (31-21) in check with only an infield single and a run which scored off a passed ball being the only blemish. Then in the fifth inning, Kandra Lamb (2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 6 K) eliminated a threat and began a string of eight consecutive batters retired – six via strikeout – to close out the game.
Hayden, who opened the scoring earlier in the third inning, ignited the knockout punch in the seventh inning with her bases-loaded bouncer up the middle of the infield that plated the first pair of six straight runs that would cross the plate with one out.
Hayden’s two-run single made it 4-1, then Davis followed with an infield RBI single and Sophie Piskos kept the barrage going as she rifled a single to left that led to two more runs and a 7-1 margin. Two batters later it was Lauren Allred’s RBI single that completed the scoring.
With both of her hits leading to runs produced, Hayden finished the contest with a game-high three RBI. Jourdyn Campbell (2-for-3) and Valdez (2-for-3) each tallied two-hit games to join Hayden in producing six total hits at the bottom of the order.
Davis (2-for-4, 2 RBI) picked up her team-leading 19th multiple-hit game and drove in multiple runs for the fourth time in the past nine games. She collected her 43rd stolen base in her 43rd appearance to maintain her status of one of only two players in the nation averaging a stolen base per game.
Lamb continued her brilliant performance in her closer’s role, tossing scoreless relief for the 11th time in 13 appearances since March 31. During the stretch she’s yielded only eight hits and struck out 40 over 29-2/3 innings.
The Ragin’ Cajuns won in their first visit to Ruston since April 2019 and first appearance at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field. Louisiana extended its series-best win streak over LA Tech to 30 games, a streak that dates back to April 1999.
UP NEXT FOR LOUISIANA
Louisiana returns home to Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park to conclude regular season play with the last Sun Belt Conference series of the season from Thursday-Saturday, May 4-6 vs. ULM.
The ULM series marks Senior Weekend for the Ragin' Cajuns at Lamson Park with game times set for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday (May 4) and Friday (May 5) then 2:00 p.m. on Saturday (May 6). Seniors Karly Heath, Kandra Lamb and Meghan Schorman will be honored in a pregame ceremony on Saturday.
Starting on Thursday against the Warhawks (24-28, 7-14 SBC), the Ragin' Cajuns seek to secure a fourth consecutive Sun Belt Conference regular season title and No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. Louisiana needs only one win to lock up the SBC regular season title.
All games in the series with ULM are being televised on ESPN+. Radio coverage is available on 103.3 FM The Goat and the Varsity Network and live stats can be accessed through CajunStats.com.
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