No. 16 Louisiana State responded with five runs in the first inning to answer a leadoff home run that gave No. 15 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns an early lead and went on to claim a 10-3 win in the winner’s bracket final of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional on Saturday at Tiger Park.
The loss sends Louisiana (45-11) into an elimination game that’s scheduled to begin at approximately 7 p.m. (CDT) on Saturday evening. The Ragin’ Cajuns will face the winner of the regional’s first elimination contest between McNeese State and George Washington.
Ciara Bryan staked the Ragin’ Cajuns out to the 1-0 lead when she delivered the leadoff home run. LSU starting pitcher Shelbi Sunseri was able to work around a two-out single by Justice Milz to keep the early deficit at one run.
The Tigers (34-19) quickly loaded the bases in the bottom half of the first with back-to-back singles and a hit by pitch, then snatched the momentum away from Louisiana with a two-run double from Amanda Doyle and a three-run home run by Raeleen Gutierrez that opened a 5-1 advantage.
Kendall Talley’s leadoff single in the second inning resulted in a run for the Ragin’ Cajuns, but Louisiana State stretched the lead back out again in the home half of the frame when a two-out, two-run double from Sunseri made it 7-2.
The Tigers’ early uprising led to Summer Ellyson being relieved in the first inning. Vanessa Foreman worked the first three innings of relief, holding the Tigers to three runs while scattering six hits in maintaining a chance for the Ragin’ Cajuns offense to climb back in.
Bryan (2-for-4, HR, RBI) and Milz (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) each delivered a two-hit effort for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Bailey Curry’s RBI ground out in the second inning provided the tally that put Louisiana back in a manageable deficit after the Tigers’ five-run first inning.
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