LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - McNeese softball gave 12th ranked UL-Lafayette all it could handle Wednesday night before Justice Milz’s three-run home run in the sixth gave the Cajuns a 5-4 lead and the eventual win. The loss is the second one-run loss to the Cajuns in a week. McNeese dropped an 8-7, eight-inning game to the Cajuns last Wednesday in Lafayette.
McNeese (3-12) held a 4-1 lead after three innings after scoring two runs in the first inning on a two-run home run to straightaway centerfield by Cori McCrary.
UL-Lafayette (10-3) cut the Cowgirl lead to 2-1 in the second inning on an RBI single up the middle by Kendall Talley.
McNeese got the run back in the bottom of the inning to push its lead to 3-1 on a Caleigh Cross double that scored Padyn Williams.
Caylon Brabham’s RBI single to centerfield in the third inning scored Jil Poullard from second after she led to the bottom half of the inning off with a walk. Poullard tagged up on a McCrary fly ball that was caught at the centerfield wall to move into scoring position.
Cowgirl starter Whitney Tate would keep the Cajuns off balance for the next two innings giving up only two hits.
After getting the first two Cajuns out to start the sixth Tate ran into trouble. Back-to-back doubles by Alissa Dalton and Ciara Bryan cut the lead to 4-2. A single down the third baseline by Kaitlyn Alderink put runners on first and third. Milz then came up with the big hit to clear the bases that put the Cajuns up 5-4.
The Cowgirls left the tying run stranded on second base with two outs when pinch-runner Tayler Strother advanced on a long fly ball to centerfield by Haylee Brinlee. Pinch hitter Kaylee Lopez grounded out to end the threat.
Cajun reliever Summer Ellyson got the Cowgirls out three up and three down to pick up her first save of the season.
UL-Lafayette outhit the Cowgirls 12-4 with five hits coming as extra-base hits. Two of the four Cowgirl hits were extra-base hits coming from McCrary’s homer and Cross’ double.
Casey Dixon remained undefeated at 3-0 on the year, picking up the win in relief of starter Kandra Lamb. Tate fell to 0-5 on the year after allowing five earned runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
McNeese will return to the diamond Friday and Saturday to host its second tournament this season. UTSA and Texas Southern will take part in the two-day tournament.