BATON ROUGE – 21st-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball clinched its spot in Championship Sunday of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional with a 7-2 win over Houston Saturday evening at Tiger Park.
Lexie Comeaux, who homered twice in the contest, used her first home run to trigger a three-run rally in the second inning which vaulted Louisiana (40-15) lead for good.
Summer Ellyson, who struck out nine Houston batters for the second straight day, made the lead stand as she limited the Cougars to four hits. A pair of run-saving catches from redshirt freshman Aeriyl Mass strengthened Ellyson’s efforts.
The win capped off a strong day at the plate for Louisiana which opened Saturday’s play with a 15-3 (5 inn.) win over Fordham to set up the rematch with Houston. The Ragin’ Cajuns hit .387 for the day and generated double digit hits both contests in totaling 24 (13 vs. Fordham, 11 vs. Houston).
Louisiana advances to Championship Sunday of an NCAA Regional for the 11th straight season. The Ragin’ Cajuns will meet top-seeded and 11th-ranked Louisiana State (43-14) at 1 p.m. and need two wins to move on the NCAA Super Regional round.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Cougars were able to get on the scoreboard early on a Sarah Queen RBI single in the first inning.
The Ragin’ Cajuns responded quickly, tying the game with a leadoff solo home run from Comeaux in the second inning. Brittany Rodriguez later cleared the bases with a double into the left center gap to pull Louisiana in front 3-1.
Louisiana continued to build its lead, scoring in each of the next two innings. Carrie Boswell singled home a pair of runs in the third inning and Kara Gremillion delivered an RBI single of her own in the fourth inning.
After a one hour, eight minute lightning delay another spectacular play from Mass, who robbed Queen of a potential two-run homer in the third inning, prevented the Cougars from another two-run chance in the fourth inning.
Queen’s second RBI single of the game came in the fifth inning and trimmed the Louisiana lead to 6-2. Comeaux got the run back in the seventh when she led off with her second homer.
Louisiana Head Coach Gerry Glasco
“Really happy, proud of our team, proud of the girls, and the fight that they put up today and the effort that they gave. It was really good to see them finally relax and the pressure let off of them. I think you finally saw the ball team that I’ve been seeing in practice for the last two to three weeks.
“They have fought all year to keep our program at a high level and today they let go of that and played the game the way they should play the game, just enjoy the thrill of competition.”
– Louisiana improved to 75-58 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The program is now 63-35 in the regional round.
– Lexie Comeaux posted her first multiple-home run game of the season. She moved her season total to six, which leads the team.
– Lexie Comeaux was 3-for-3 at the plate and reached base all four plate appearances. She concluded Saturday’s play 5-for-7 at the plate with two home runs and five RBI.
– For the 28th time in 31 starts, sophomore pitcher Summer Ellyson yielded three earned runs or less.
– Freshman Carrie Boswell went 2-for-4 at the plate for her second multiple-hit game of the day.
FOLLOW THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS