LAKE CHARLES—McNeese softball missed a few opportunities to score more runs in a game that saw several outstanding defensive plays from both teams in a 5-3 loss to 22nd ranked UL Lafayette here Wednesday night.
“We knew we were going to face a good UL Lafayette team and they lived up to it,” said McNeese head coach James Landreneau. “When we were able to put people on, they made some key defensive plays and Summer (Ellyson) did a good job of keeping us off balance.”
McNeese (30-16) left eight runners stranded including the bases loaded with two outs and trailing 4-0 in the third inning. The Cowgirls also left Alexandria Saldivar stranded on second base after a leadoff double to left in the second inning then in the sixth left the tying runners stranded trailing 5-3.
UL Lafayette (29-11) took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Lexie Comeaux singled up the middle to score Brittany Rodriguez who doubled to left field with one out.
The Cajuns scored three more runs on three hits and two Cowgirl errors in the third to extend their lead to 4-0.
Erika Piancastelli put the Cowgirls on the scoreboard with a three run home run in the fifth to cut the UL Lafayette lead to 4-3.
An Alissa Dalton single to center field scored Aeriyl Mass to up the lead to 5-3.
A single to right field by Aubree Turbeville and a two out walk by pinch hitter Brenique Wright represented the tying runs and the Cowgirls were where they wanted to be in the lineup, at the top of the order with Justyce McClain at the plate. McClain got a good hit but left fielder Kelli Martinez made a diving catch to end the threat.
After third reliever Alexsandra Flores gave up a leadoff double to Comeaux in the top of the seventh, she got the Cajuns out on three straight ground outs.
Piancastelli led the bottom half of the seventh off with a walk but the Cowgirls’ bats didn’t come through again with the hits they needed. Morgan Catron flew out to right field, on a long fly ball that was deep in the gap but Rodriguez made the catch that may have scored Piancastelli. Saldivar then lined out to short and Lauren Brown grounded out to pitcher Ellyson Summer to end the game.
McClain, Piancastelli, Saldivar and Turbeville all picked up one hit apiece. Saldivar picked up the only extra base hit besides Piancastelli’s home run.
UL Lafayette picked up 10 hits and were led by Dalton, Rodriguez, and Comeaux who all had two apiece. Rodriguez and Comeaux each had one double on the night.
McNeese used all four pitchers in the game with Ashley Koncir dropping her first game of the season to fall to 4-1. She gave up three earned runs on four hits and allowed two walks in two innings. Amber Coons had a good outing, allowing one earned run on four hits in 3 2/3 innings before giving way to Caroline Settle who gave up two hits in 1/3 innings. Flores finished off the game by pitching one shutout inning.
Ellyson picked up the win to improve to 15-6 on the season. She gave up three hits without allowing a run with five walks and four strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. Kylee Trahan gave up the home run to Piancastelli before being replaced by Ellyson after facing four batters.
McNeese will return to the Southland Conference schedule this weekend when the Cowgirls will travel to Lamar for a three game series beginning Friday.
Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.