UL Softball Defeats Michigan & Valparaiso In First Day Of Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational
UL freshman outfielder Haley Hayden
The 20th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun softball team picked up two wins in the first day of the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational on Saturday at Lamson Park, defeating the 6th-ranked Michigan Wolverines, 8-6, before edging past the Valparaiso Crusaders, 3-2.
In the first game against Michigan, Louisiana scored a run in the top half of the first inning, as senior second baseman Natalie Fernandez reached on a bunt single, and later scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of senior first baseman Shelbi Redfearn, giving UL a quick 1-0 lead.
The Cajuns added two more runs in the third inning, on solo home runs by freshman outfielder Haley Hayden and Redfearn, extending their lead to 3-0.
Louisiana made it six unanswered runs to start the game with three more runs in the top half of the fifth inning, as sophomore outfielder Shelli Landry drove home Hayden with an run-scoring single, before sophomore outfielder Samantha Walsh brought home sophomore catcher Lexie Elkins and Redfearn with a two-out, two-run single, making the score 6-0.
Michigan loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth, before the Cajuns minimized the damage, holding them to a single run, which crossed the plate courtesy of a bases loaded walk by outfielder Sierra Lawrence, which score outfielder Nicole Sappingfield, trimming the UL lead to 6-1.
The Cajuns came right back with two of their own in the top of the sixth, when freshman shortstop Corin Voinche belted her first collegiate home run, to make the score 7-1, before adding an unearned run, to push the lead to 8-1.
The Wolverines wouldn’t go away quietly however, scoring an unearned run in the sixth, before scoring four runs in the seventh, and bringing the tying run to the plate, before UL nailed down the two-run win.
Hayden, Voinche, and Redfearn all homered for Louisiana, while Redfearn and Walsh each drove in two runs.
Jordan Wallace (2-1) recorded the win for the Cajuns, while Sara Driesenga (0-2) suffered the loss for the Wolverines.
With the win, Louisiana improved to 3-2-1 on the season, while Michigan fell to 4-2.
In the second game, against Valparaiso, Louisiana got a two-run home run by Hayden in the bottom half of the third inning, plating Fernandez in front of her, giving them a 2-0 advantage.
The score stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth, when Voinche, who had never homered, even in high school, delivered her second blast of the day, this one a solo shot, extending the UL lead to 3-0.
Valparaiso drew within a run in the top of the sixth when designated player Jorgi Calombaris crushed a two-run home run, cutting the Louisiana lead to 3-2.
That’s as close as the Crusaders would get however, as the Cajuns went on to the one-run win.
Hayden and Voinche were the leaders at the plate, with a homer apiece, while Hayden drove in two runs.
Christina Hamilton (2-0) picked up the win, while Mollie Lindeman (1-1) got tabbed with the loss.
With the win, Louisiana improved to 4-2-1, while Valparaiso fell to 2-4.
The Cajuns will play twice more on Saturday, facing Michigan again at 2 o’clock, before meeting Memphis at 4:30 pm.
You can catch all the play-by-play action on ESPN 1420, and espn1420.com, beginning with the pre-game show at 1:45 pm.