UL Softball Defeats McNeese St. to Advance to Regional Finals
Once again, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns are heading to Championship Sunday in an NCAA Regional.
14th-ranked Louisiana defeated the McNeese St. Cowgirls, 4-0, in an elimination game on Saturday in the Baton Rouge Regional in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Cajuns will take on the host school, the top-seed, and the number seven National Seed LSU Tigers in the finals on finals.
The win advanced UL into the Regional finals for the 13th-consecutive year, as they improved to 2-1 in the regional, after a 1-0 win in 11 innings over George Washington on Friday night, followed by a 10-3 setback to LSU on Saturday afternoon.
The win over McNeese St. was the third in three tries for the Cajuns this season, after capturing two wins over the Cowgirls during the regular season.
Louisiana has now won 28 of its last 33 games, while the Cowgirls were eliminated from the regional with a record of 1-2.
Louisiana, who is now just two wins shy of capturing their 12-Regional title, improved to 80-62, all-time, in NCAA Tournament play, including a 68-39 record in Regionals.
UL, who is now 34-12 in Regional play since 2008, needs two victories on Sunday to capture their 8th-Regional title in that same time frame.
The Cajuns would have to knock off LSU twice on Sunday to earn a trip to their 8th Super Regional appearance.
UL is making their 22nd-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, including their 30th in the last 31 years.
Louisiana got on the scoreboard first, scoring two runs on two hits in the top half of the second inning when Karly Heath blasted a two-run home run, her 8th of the season, which gave them a 2-0 lead.
The Cajuns widened their lead in the top half of the 3rd inning when Ciara Bryan began the frame with a single before later crossing the plate, which extended their advantage to 3-0.
UL added an insurance run in the top half of the 7th inning, to make it 4-0.
That was all the Cajuns would need, as they went on to the 4-0 triumph.
Louisiana, who evened McNeese St. in the hit department, 6-6, was led at the plate by Heath, who homered, and Bryan, who collected two hits.
In losing cause or McNeese, Kaylee Lopez collected two hits.
Summer Ellyson (25-7) recorded the win inside the circle for the Cajuns, tossing five innings of four-hit shutout innings.
For Ellyson, it was her 99th career triumph.
Kandra Lamb recorded three out in the bottom half of the 7th inning to accumulate her first save of the season.
Jenna Edwards (9-3) suffered the loss for the Cowgirls, allowing three runs on hits over 3.0 innings pitched.
With the victory, Louisiana improved to 46-11, overall, while McNeese St. ended its season with an overall record of 35-26.
Louisiana returns to action on Sunday, taking on LSU in the finals, with first-pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.