CLEARWATER, Fla. – Meghan Schorman held No. 4 Arkansas scoreless for the final 4-1/3 innings and the No. 22-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball team’s offense nearly erased a six-run deficit on Saturday, February 18 at the TaxAct Clearwater Invitational at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Florida.
The Razorbacks (7-2) were able to hold on for the 7-6 victory as they received an equally impressive relief effort from Chenise Delce who slowed down the comeback for the Ragin’ Cajuns (5-3) by yielding just one base hit and striking out seven over four innings of work.
Karly Heath (2-for-3, 2 runs, RBI) and Kayla Falterman (2-for-2, run, RBI) each posted a two-hit effort to pace Louisiana’s eight-hit attack and together sparked the team’s response to a five-run second inning by Arkansas that opened a 7-1 lead.
Heath and Falterman delivered first-pitch swinging RBI singles in the bottom of the second to start the string of five unanswered runs by the Ragin’ Cajuns. Maddie Hayden continued the uprising with an RBI single of her own that trimmed the deficit to 7-4 and chased Razorbacks starting pitcher Callie Turner.
Louisiana picked up a run on an Alexa Langeliers ground out to slice the deficit to 7-5 before the second inning came to a close.
Heath and Falterman were in the middle of another run-scoring frame for the Ragin’ Cajuns in the fourth, the duo delivering back-to-back singles to start the inning which later set up Heath to score off a passed ball to make it 7-6.
The last three innings became a duel between Schorman (4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 6 K) and Delce (4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 7 K) as neither pitcher gave in. Schorman worked around a leadoff double in the fifth inning and Delce retired three straight after a leadoff walk in the sixth inning.
Schorman’s stranglehold on the Razorbacks lineup became firmer as the game wore on, retiring the side in order each of the last two innings and collecting three strikeouts in the process.
Heath moved into a tie with Victoria Valdez for the team lead with her third multiple-hit game of the young season. Falterman collected her first multiple-hit game of the spring.
Sam Landry was charged with the loss for the Ragin’ Cajuns as she was responsible for the first five runs the Razorbacks scored over the first 1-1/3 innings of the contest.
Louisiana and Arkansas met for the first time since taking turns participating in tournaments at each other’s facility in back-to-back seasons from 2010-2011.
The loss was the third straight for Louisiana following its season-opening, five-game win streak. The Ragin’ Cajuns fell to 1-3 in the TaxAct Clearwater Invitational and were dealt a second defeat against a Top 5 team on Saturday (L, 2-12 – 5 inn., vs. Oklahoma State).
UP NEXT FOR LOUISIANA
No. 22 Louisiana finishes play in the TaxAct Clearwater Invitational on Sunday, February 19 meeting No. 2 UCLA at 9:00 a.m. (CST) and No. 7 Florida State at 12:00 p.m. (CST) on Field 8 at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Florida.
The meeting with the Bruins is set to air on ESPNU while the matchup with the Seminoles can be seen on ESPN+. Radio coverage of both games, with the call from Jay Walker and Bobby Neveaux, is available in the Acadiana region on 103.3 FM and 1420 AM and worldwide through the Ragin' Cajuns Digital Network (links available on softball schedule page at RaginCajuns.com).
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