UL Softball Defeats Texas St. In SBC Tournament
The 15th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball stayed unbeaten in postseason play on Friday, defeating the Texas St. Bobcats in the third day of play in the 2017 Sun Belt Championship in Troy, Alabama.
Louisiana defeated Texas St., 5-2, giving them three wins in four tries against the Bobcats this season, while advancing them into the tournament finals on Saturday.
The Cajuns won 2-of-3 from Texas St. back in April in San Marcos, Texas, winning the first two games of the series, 8-1 and 12-4, before dropping the finale, 2-1, in their only league defeat of the year.
The regular season conference champions, and the top-seed in the tournament, UL drew a bye on opening day, before defeating South Alabama on Thursday, 6-0.
The win extended the Cajuns’ current win streak to 12 games, while giving them 27 wins in their last 28 games, including 34 in their last 36.
UL has also now won 31 of their last 32 conference games, dating back to last season.
The win improved Louisiana’s all-time record in the event to an impressive 55-8, with the Cajuns claiming 13 titles in the 17-year history of the tournament.
Louisiana got on the scoreboard first, plating one runs in the top half of the first inning, when Aleah Craighton drove home a run with a 2-out double, to give them a quick 1-0 lead.
The Cajuns added two more runs in the top half of the 2nd inning, courtesy of 2-out run-scoring singles from Kara Gremillion and DJ Sanders, to extend their lead to 3-0.
Texas St. got on the board for the first time in the bottom half of the second inning, when Bailee Carter delivered a 2-out run-coring single, to trim the deficit to 3-1.
Louisiana widened their lead in the top half of the 5th inning, when Craighton blasted a 2-run home run, her second of the tournament, and her 18th of the season, to make it 5-1.
The Bobcats scored the final run of the game in the bottom half of the 7th inning, when Alex Cruz hit a solo homer, to make it 5-2.
That was far from enough however, as Louisiana cruised to the 3-run triumph.
Louisiana, who outhit Texas St., 10-3, was led at the plate by Craighton, who homered and drove in three runs, the second-consecutive game she hit a homer, while driving in three runs.
Alex Stewart (24-3) recorded the win in the circle for the Cajuns, allowing 2 runs on3 hits, while improving her career Sun Belt Conference record to an amazing 38-1.
Randi Rupp (26-9) suffered the loss for the Bobcats, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits, in 4.1 innings of work.
With the victory, Louisiana improved to 44-6, overall, while Texas St. dropped to 40-14.
The Cajuns next advance to the tournament finals on Saturday at 1 o'clock, where they will face either Texas St., UTA,or South Alabama.
You can hear all the play-by-play action on ESPN 1420 & espn1420.com, beginning with the pregame show at 12:45.
That game will be a one game, winner-take-all, for the championship, and an automatic bid to an NCAA Regional.