BATON ROUGE- No. 25 Duke took advantage of several Cowgirl miscues including three in the fourth inning here Saturday at the LSU Tiger Classic to score seven unearned runs in its 9-1 win.
McNeese ends its opening weekend with a 2-2 record with wins over Kansas on Friday. Duke improved to 3-0 with the win.
The Cowgirls outhit Duke 7-6 with Jill Poullard and Alayis Seneca picking up two hits apiece. Haylee Brinlee, Cori McCrary and Rebekah DiLavore all had one hit apiece.
Whitney Tate (0-1) took the loss after giving up four hits, seven unearned runs, two walks and one strikeout. Saleen Flores gave up two hits, two runs and struck out three batters in three innings of relief.
McNeese took the early lead in the opening frame when Jil Poullard stole home for a 1-0 Cowgirl lead but that would be the only run the Cowgirls would manufacture.
Duke took advantage of two consecutive Cowgirl errors to start the fourth inning before a single by Kristina Foreman tied the game at one apiece. Following a fielder’s choice by Raine Wilson to load the bases, pinch hitter Sydney Bolan and Caroline Jacobsen drew back to back walks that allowed to more runs to score for a 3-1 lead. Two batters later, Deja Davis’ grand slam to center put the Blue Devils up 7-1.
Duke added another run the fifth inning for an 8-1 lead. Foreman reached first base on a wild pitch following a strikeout. She later stole second and scored on an RBI single by Jameson Kavel.
McNeese missed a chance to score in the bottom of the fifth when Caleigh Cross reached base on a Duke error then moved into scoring position on a Poullard walk. Following two strikeouts, both Cross and Poullard moved up a base on a pass ball but another strikeout ended the Cowgirl threat.
Duke added a single run in the top of the seventh aided by a wild pitch that allowed Foreman to advance to third then scored on a ground out for a 9-1 lead.
The Cowgirls left Alayis Seneca stranded on second base in the bottom of the inning after she reached base on a fielder’s choice then moved into scoring position on a single by Rebekah DiLavore.
McNeese is scheduled to play at South Alabama next Tuesday before hosting UL-Monroe in its home opener next Wednesday.