UL Softball Defeats Arizona In First Game Of Series, 5-3 – VIDEO
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun softball team won the opening game of a best-of-three game NCAA Super Regional series at Lamson Park on Friday night, defeating the Arizona Wildcats, 5-3.
The victory gave Louisiana, the #6-overall national seed, 40 wins in their last 43 games, and leaves them only one win away from a berth in the Women's College World Series, which would mark the sixth berth in program history.
Arizona, the #11-seed, scored in the top of the first, when first baseman Hallie Wilson homered in the first at-bat of the game off of UL starter Christina Hamilton, giving them a quick 1-0 lead.
The Cajuns responded in the bottom half of the first inning, when sophomore third baseman Samantha Walsh belted a two-out, two-run home run, giving the home team a 2-1 advantage.
Louisiana pushed across two more runs in the bottom of the second inning, when senior second baseman Natalie Fernandez and freshman outfielder Hayley Hayden came through with clutch two-out, run scoring singles, to extend their lead to 4-1.
The Cajuns added another run in the bottom of the third inning, when sophomore designated player Sara Corbello plated sophomore outfielder Shellie Landry with a run-scoring sacrifice fly, making it 5-1.
The score stayed that way until the top half of the seventh inning, when Arizona scored two runs on a two-run home run by shortstop Kellie Fox, to trim the UL lead to 5-3.
That was as close as the Wildcats would get however, as Louisiana hung on for the two-run win, to capture the first game of the series.
Walsh led the Cajuns at the plate, going 2-for-2, with a homer, a run scored, two walks, and two runs batted in.
In a losing cause for Arizona, Fox went 2-for-3, with a homer, and two RBI's.
Hamilton (28-2) recorded the win in the circle for Louisiana, allowing seven hits and two earned runs, while walking four and striking out four.
The win for Hamilton gave her 25 victories in her last 26 decisions.
Below, UL head coach Michael Lotief gives his thoughts on Hamilton's performance:
Pinon (19-9) suffered the loss for the Wildcats, allowing five runs on five hits in only three innings of work.
View the game box score.
With the win, Louisiana improved to 48-8-1 on the season, while Arizona fell to 44-15.
The Wildcats still lead the all-time series between the two schools, 19-4, but the Cajuns lead the series in the postseason, 3-2.
Game two of the series is set for Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock.
You can hear all the play-by-play action on Sports Radio ESPN 1420 & espn1420.,com beginning with the pre-game show at 1:40 pm
If necessary, a third and decisive game would be played on Saturday, about 45 minutes following the completion of that 2 pm contest.
View the complete NCAA Tournament bracket.