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McNeese opens Southland Tournament run with walk-off win over Northwestern St.

Freshman Crislyne Moreno hit a walk-off single to right field in the bottom of the eighth...
Freshman Crislyne Moreno hit a walk-off single to right field in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift McNeese over Northwestern State 6-5 in the Cowgirls opening game of the Southland Conference Tournament.(Leighton Chamblee, McNeese)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 4:10 PM CDT
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HAMMOND— Freshman Crislyne Moreno came up with the biggest hit of her young career here Wednesday with a walk-off single to right field in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift McNeese over Northwestern State 6-5 in the Cowgirls opening game of the Southland Conference Tournament.

With the win, the Cowgirls (36-19) advance to play No. 2 Southeastern at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the first game of the day. A win on Thursday by the Cowgirls would put them in Friday’s 12 p.m. championship game, while a loss will seem them play in the 6:30 p.m elimination game Thursday.

In a game that consisted of five lead changes, McNeese fought its way through an early 1-0 deficit in the first inning before tying the game at one apiece then took a 3-2 lead in the third. Northwestern State took a 3-2 lead in the fifth but a two-out single to left field by pinch hitter Toni Perrin tied the game at three apiece.

Northwestern State (29-21) responded with a solo home run in the top of the seventh to regain the lead at 4-3 off a solo home run by Makenzie Chaffin in the second batter Cowgirl reliever Whitney Tate faced. Tate regrouped and got two more outs to get out of the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, Jil Poullard walked and Moreno doubled to right before Lopez walked to load the bases. A pinch hit single by Perrin scored Poullard to tie the game up for the fourth time. The Cowgirls couldn’t push another run across the plate, sending the game into extra innings.

A one-out single to center field by Bailie Ragsdale in the eighth put the Lady Demons up 5-4 before Ashley Vallejo, who re-entered the game got the next two batters to pop out to end the top half of the inning, setting up the Cowgirl heroics by Moreno.

McNeese took advantage of a Lady Demon error to put the tying run on in Josie Willingham. Three consecutive bunt singles by Alayis Seneca, Kendall Talley, and Poullard, coupled with another Lady Demon error allowed Willingham to score and tie the game five all. Moreno sent the first pitch she saw into right field that scored Seneca for the game-winning run.

The Cowgirls ended the game with 10 hits including two doubles, one from Moreno and one from Chloe Gomez. Moreno led the Cowgirls at the plate, going 2 for 3 with one RBI and one walk. Talley, Poullard and Gomez also had two hits apiece.

Ashley Vallejo improved to 17-7 on the year with the win. She allowed three runs on nine hits with two walks.

T2- NSU took a 1-0 lead on a two-out single up the middle by Laney Roos (NSU. 1, McN 0)

B2- A two-out sac fly by Josie Willingham scored pinch-runner Erin Ardoin from third to tie the game (McN 1, NSU. 1)

B3- Cowgirls take the lead on a sac fly to left by Kaylee Lopez that scored Kendall Talley (McN 2, NSU 1)

T4- NSU ties the game on a two-out Cowgirl error (McN 2, NSU. 2)

T5- A two-out double to left by Kat Marshall gave NSU the lead again (NSU. 3, McN 2)

B6- The Cowgirls tied the game again on a two-out single through the left side to score pinch-runner Toni Perrin (McN 3, NSU 3)

T7- A one-out solo home run put the Lady Demons up again (NSU 4, McN 3)

B7- Pinch hit single by Perrin ties the game again (McN 4, NSU. 4)

T8- NSU took the lead again (5-4) on an RBI single by Bailie Ragsdale (NSU. 5-4)

B8- After an NSU error, McNeese put down three straight bunts to score Willingham to tie the game (McN 5, NSU. 5

B8- McNeese won the game on a walk-off single RBI by Moreno (McN 6, NSU S

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