UL Softball Defeats McNeese St. In Baton Rouge Regional Opener
The 14th-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball stayed unbeaten in postseason play on Friday, defeating the McNeese St. Cowgirls, in the first game of the Baton Rouge Regional at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, La.
Louisiana defeated McNeese St., 6-0, to advance them in the winners bracket of the double-elimination event.
Senior right-hander Alex Stewart was the story of the game, tossing a complete game no-hitter, in a superlative performance inside of the circle.
The last UL pitcher to pitch a no-hitter in the NCAA Tournament, prior to Stewart, was Brooke Mitchell, who accomplished the feat against San Diego St. back in 2003.
Overall, the gem was only the third no-hitter by a Cajun pitcher in NCAA Tournament history.
The win extended the Cajuns’ current win streak to 14 games, including 28 wins in their last 29 games, as well as 35 of their last 37.
The win improved Louisiana’s all-time record in NCAA Tournament history to 72-55, while extending their win streak at Tiger Park to 7 games.
The Cajuns, who improved their all-time record against McNeese St. to 99-24, is in an NCAA Regional for the 19th-consecutive year, and for the 27th time in the last 28 years.
UL now has shutout the opposition in 4 consecutive games, including 6 of 7 career contests at Tiger Park, while allowing only one run in 49 innings.
Louisiana got on the scoreboard first, plating two runs in the bottom half of the 4th inning, when Corin Voinche delivered a clutch one-out double down the left-field line, scoring two runs, to give them a 2-0 lead.
The Cajuns added three more runs in the bottom half of the 5th inning, all unearned, as they took advantage of two McNeese St. errors, to widen their lead to 5-0.
Louisiana scored the final run in the bottom half of the 6th inning, when Beth Ashley singled with two outs, before being run for by Kelli Martinez, who stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error, and then scored on a wild-pitch, to make it 6-0.
That was all that Louisiana would need, as they went on to the 6-run shutout triumph.
Louisiana, who outhit McNeese St., 4-0, was led at the plate by Voinche, who drove in two runs, while Comeaux added another.
Stewart (26-3), again, the story though, tossing a 7-inning no-hitter, the first of her career, while walking 4 and striking out 6.
Baylee Corbello (11-4) suffered the loss for the Cowgirls, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits, in 4 innings of work.
With the victory, Louisiana improved to 47-6, overall, while McNeese St. dropped to 42-17.
The Cajuns advance to the winners bracket, where they will face LSU, who defeated Fairfield in the second game on Friday, 2-1.
First-pitch is scheduled for noon on Saturday.
You can hear all the play-by-play action on Sports Radio ESPN 1420 & espn1420.com, beginning with the pregame show at 11:45.
COMPLETE NCAA BATON ROUGE REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, May 19, 2017
G1: Louisiana 6, McNeese St. 0
G2: LSU 2, Fairfield 1
Saturday, May 20, 2017
G3: 12 p.m. – Louisiana vs. LSU
G4: 2:30 p.m. – McNeese St. vs. Fairfield
G5: 5 p.m. – Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3
Sunday, May 21, 2017
G6: 1:30 p.m. – Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5
G7: 4 p.m. – (if necessary) Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6