TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – No. 5 Alabama was the first to take advantage of early scoring opportunities on Sunday at Rhoads Stadium and it proved to be the difference in a 5-1 win over No. 13 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball.
With two runners in scoring position in the second inning of a scoreless game, Elissa Brown put an infield single in play that led to two runs crossing the plate for a 2-0 lead. An inning later, with two outs, it was Savannah Woodard who was able to drive an inside the park home run into right field to increase the lead to 4-1 right after the Ragin’ Cajuns got on the board.
Those two-run scoring frames allowed Alabama (36-7) to be the first to capture the momentum in the contest, and the home team wouldn’t relinquish it.
Earlier in the contest, Louisiana (35-9) saw its first two batters of both the first and second inning reach base with a chance to take control, but was unable to push across a run leaving the door open for the Crimson Tide.
The Ragin’ Cajuns battled back after the events that unfolded on Brown’s second-inning single. In the third inning a Kendall Talley double set the stage for a Julie Rawls sacrifice fly that trimmed the lead to 2-1.
A heads-up defensive play following the catch of Rawls’ fly ball led to the third out and took away the chance for the Ragin’ Cajuns to get more. Any momentum gained by the visitors was quickly taken back with Woodard’s two-out heroics in the bottom half of the frame.
The Crimson Tide sealed the triumph in the fourth inning when yet another heads-up defensive play shut down a potential two-out rally. The hosts picked up an unearned run in their half of the inning, then turned to Montana Fouts for three consecutive scoreless innings to close out the contest.
Despite the defeat, Kandra Lamb pitched effectively against the Top 5-ranked Crimson Tide. In 5-1/3 innings of work, Lamb scattered four base hits, surrendered just three earned runs, and kept the top of the batting order hitless.
Adding in Saturday’s 5-3 win, that was aided by a four-run first inning, Alabama was able to complete the two-game sweep of the nationally ranked weekend matchup.
- Louisiana played its final non-conference game of the regular season, concluding with a 19-7 mark against out-of-conference competition.
- A bunt single in the first inning extended Kaitlyn Alderink’s hitting streak to 13 games, stretching out her longest streak as a Ragin’ Cajun and matching her career-best streak set back in 2016 as a freshman at Texas A&M.
- Julie Rawls picked up her 48th RBI of the season with the sacrifice fly in the third inning, moving her within one RBI of matching her career-high total (49 RBI in 2019).
- Julie Rawls also moved within two RBI of the first-ever, 50-RBI season of her collegiate career. Rawls has two weekends remaining in the regular season, plus postseason play, to realize the accomplishment.
- Following her single to lead off the contest, Ciara Bryan has tallied at least one hit in 40 of the 44 games Louisiana has played. Bryan ranks No. 2 nationally with 67 base hits.
- In four starts against nationally ranked teams (LSU, Oklahoma State, Texas, Alabama), Kandra Lamb has held the opposing team to five hits or less each time.
- Aside from the inside the park home run, Kandra Lamb did not allow an extra base hit to the Crimson Tide. Of the five full innings pitched, only twice (second and third inning) did Alabama move a runner past second base with a successful base hit.
- The Ragin’ Cajuns defense committed a season-high tying three errors – the most since the March 20 loss at UT Arlington.
- With the win, Alabama holds on to the all-time series lead with Louisiana now owning an 8-6 advantage.
- The Crimson Tide improved to 6-1 in its home facility against the Ragin' Cajuns.
UP NEXTNo. 13 Louisiana starts the final stretch of Sun Belt Conference play and plays its final road games of the regular season Saturday-Sunday, May 1-2 in Conway, S.C., against Coastal Carolina.
The Ragin' Cajuns and Chanticleers are scheduled to play a 12 p.m. (CDT) doubleheader on Saturday and an 11 a.m. (CDT) single game on Sunday at St. John Stadium on the CCU campus.
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