BOONE, N.C. – Meghan Schorman set the tone in the circle and a seventh-inning surge cemented the victory as the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team evened its Sun Belt series at App State with an 8-2 win on Saturday, April 23 at Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium.
With the exception of a two-run home run that evened the score at 2-all in the sixth inning, Schorman (7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 12 K) was in control the entire contest. And with a six-run barrage the ensuing half inning, the Ragin’ Cajuns offense emphatically reclaimed the lead for her.
The game-winning rally started quickly for Louisiana (33-11, 16-4 Sun Belt) as back-to-back singles from Ari Quiñones and Alexa Langeliers started off the seventh inning. After a sacrifice bunt, Kayla Falterman and Stormy Kotzelnick successfully put the ball in play to push across runs that put the Ragin’ Cajuns back in front at 4-2.
Before App State (26-19, 8-10 Sun Belt) could exit the frame a Sophie Piskos grand slam broke the game wide open and Schorman closed the door in the bottom of the seventh.
Louisiana avenged a 4-1 loss to the Mountaineers in Friday’s series opener and set up the rubber match on Sunday. The Ragin’ Cajuns also kept alive the opportunity to extend its nation-leading total of 70 consecutive conference series won.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a scoreless first inning, it was Langeliers delivering a clutch two-out RBI single in the second inning to give Louisiana a 1-0 lead – its first lead of the weekend series.
From there the game became a pitcher’s duel and defensive showcase until the late-game fireworks.
Schorman scattered three hits through the fifth inning and escaped a runner on third with no outs scenario to carry her shutout into the sixth inning. With outstanding defensive plays in the field and pitching of Sejal Neas, the Mountaineers were able to keep up with the Ragin’ Cajuns and Schorman and keep it a 1-0 game through five complete.
Karly Heath was the first to solve Neas with a solo home run in the top of the sixth which opened a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the sixth the Mountaineers spoiled Schorman’s shutout bid when Kayt Houston evened the score with a two-run home run.
The back-to-back singles from Louisiana to start the seventh assured there would be no momentum shift. Then with well-placed grounders and speed the Ragin’ Cajuns applied pressure that sped up the App State defense and led to the go-ahead runs crossing before Piskos’ exclamation point.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE BOX SCORE
The RBI single for Langeliers (3-for-3, RBI) in the second inning was the start of a three-hit effort for the freshman shortstop. Her third three-hit game of the season paced the 11-hit attack for the Ragin’ Cajuns who reached double-digits in base hits for the fourth time in five games this week.
Heath (1-for-3, 2 runs, RBI) picked up her team-leading ninth home run – her 15th extra base hit out of 22 total hits – and drew a two-out walk in the seventh inning to set up the Piskos grand slam that slammed the door on App State.
Piskos (2-for-4, 2 runs, grand slam, 4 RBI) took home game-high honors with her seventh-inning grand slam and is now up to a team-best 21 RBI in Sun Belt Conference play. She homered for the second time in the past three games (two-run HR at Indiana) and posted her third effort of four RBI this season (eighth multiple-RBI game overall).
With RBI grounders in the seventh inning, Falterman and Kotzelnick made it five Ragin’ Cajuns who produced at least one RBI. Maddie Hayden became the second individual to reach 50 hits, joining Kotzelnick, with her single in the third inning.
Schorman (10-4, 2.17 ERA) pitched her third complete game and first of the seven-inning variety since Feb. 12 vs. North Texas. She established control from the start, facing only three over the minimum and striking out nine over the first five innings.
The 12 total strikeouts recorded marked Schorman’s second double-digit effort of the week, adding to the career-high 13 crafted at St. Louis. Now at 118 strikeouts over 87 innings for the season, she is four off Kandra Lamb’s team-high 122 strikeouts.
Louisiana and App State are set to determine the series winner on Sunday, April 24 in an 11 a.m. (CDT) matchup at Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are seeking to continue their nation-leading total of 70 consecutive conference series won, a streak which started back on March 29, 2013 with a doubleheader sweep of FIU at Lamson Park.
Sunday’s contest is slated to air on ESPN+ courtesy App State Athletics. Radio coverage with commentary from Ian Auzenne is being provided by ESPN Lafayette 103.3 FM and 1420 AM in the Acadiana region and worldwide via the ESPN Lafayette app. Live stats can be tracked at CajunStats.com.
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