LAKE CHARLES— McNeese softball fell 9-1 to 14th ranked LSU in five innings Tuesday night in a game that saw the Tigers score seven of their nine runs off five home runs in front of a Cowgirl Diamond record crowd of 1,228.
“They got a couple of people on and put some good swings on some pitches,” said head coach James Landreneau. “You got to tip your hat to them, they came out ready to attack and they made good contact.”
McNeese (24-13) used three pitchers on the night with starter Caroline Settle (6-6) who took the loss and first reliever Amber Coons struggling in the circle before giving way to Ashley Koncir. Settle and Coons combined to give up nine runs on eight hits in 1 2/3 innings. Koncir allowed one hit, one walk and struck out three in the final 3 1/3 innings.
“Once we got to Ashley, she did a good job of keeping them at bay and attacking the zone. The didn’t look as set on pitches, as comfortable as they did the first couple innings,” Landreneau said.
LSU’s Carley Hoover (13-3) threw a gem, allowing one earned run on one hit, three walks and struck out nine. The only hit Hoover gave up was a two-out double to right field by Erika Piancastelli in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“We had chances to get to Hoover in the first inning, she kind of had a little bit of control issues and we couldn’t capitalize on the mistakes she was making.
The game didn’t go without a little drama when in the fourth inning, the Cowgirls thought they had broken up what was a no-hitter by Hoover when Taylor Edwards singled through the right side. LSU head coach Beth Torina called a timeout to talk to the home plate umpire who then went talk to Landreneau along the third base line about the batting order. After a discussion with Landreneau, Edwards was called out for an illegal substitution and nullified the hit. Landreneau continued to plead his case about the substitution he made in the third inning when Edwards replaced number 22 Lauren Brown in left field but was Landreneau was eventually ejected.
“I think my substitution was correct, I’m gonna stand by that. I made a substitution of 5 for 22 and for some reason he had on his card 5 for 2. It was a straight substitution, there wasn’t anything tricky about it. That comes up three innings later after our left fielder had already caught three fly balls if not four and had been involved in a couple plays. Justyce McClain who wears no. 2 was in the game at right field had already been to the plate after the substitution, so I’m not really sure what happened,” Landreneau said.
The Cowgirls did break up the no-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning when Piancastelli got the hit that scored pinch hitter Alexandria Saldivar.
“This game doesn’t define us, it’s part of our season, it isn’t our season. We have never put into that one game is our season. It’s a tough loss and it's going to sting but this team is a strong team and we’re gonna bounce back. I have total confidence in what we will do the rest of the season.”
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