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McNeese repeats as Southland Conference Tournament Champions

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 4:57 PM CDT
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HAMMOND— McNeese softball defended its Southland Conference Tournament title here Friday with a 10-4 win over Southeastern to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament that begins next week. The tournament title is the seventh overall for McNeese and fourth under sixth-year head coach James Landreneau.

The Cowgirls will find out their regional site and opponent during this Sunday’s, May 15 Selection Show Special at 6 p.m. Central Time on ESPN2.

Freshman Crislyne Moreno, who hit .700 in the tournament along with five RBI and the game-winning RBIs in the Cowgirls’ opening game win over Northwestern State and Thursday’s win over Southeastern, was named the tournament’s MVP. Other Cowgirls named to the all-tournament team were Kaylee Lopez, Whitney Tate, Ashley, and Jil Poullard.

Kendall Talley led the Cowgirls at the plate in the championship game, going 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored while Moreno and Reese Reyna collected two hits apiece.

Shaelyn Sanders picked up the win to improve to 7-2 on the season. Sanders allowed seven hits and struck out six in five innings before giving way to Whitney Tate, who pitched the final two innings.

McNeese didn’t waste any time getting on the board when Talley and Poullard executed back-to-back bunt singles in the bottom of the first inning. Moreno, who was the hero for the Cowgirls in the Cowgirls’ first two games of the tournament, came through with a single to left that scored Talley. A Lion fielding error allowed Poullard to score than a sacrifice fly by Lopez brought Moreno home from third.

Southeastern answered with a single run in the second inning off a double to left-center by Madisen Blackford. Sanders then got the next three Lions out with two strikeouts and a grounder back to her in the circle.

A Reese Reyna solo homerun over the left-field wall, her second of the season tacked on another run for the Cowgirls in the second inning to put the Cowgirls up 4-1.

McNeese continued to use the running game in the third inning when both Poullard and Moreno drew one out walks and then moved up a base. A wild pitch allowed Poullard to score easily before an RBI single by Lopez scored Moreno to extend the lead to 6-1.

A three-run fourth inning off a double by Talley and a Poullard single extended the Cowgirl lead to 9-1.

Southeastern avoided being run-ruled with a three-run home run in the fifth by Cam Goodman to pull to within 9-4 but another Talley RBI single in the bottom of the inning scored Perrin for the 10-4 lead.

Following a single and a walk by Sanders in the sixth, Tate shut the door on the Lions by retiring four of the six batters she faced and got Madison Rayner to go down looking for the final out of the game.

SCORING

B1: Cowgirls score three runs on two hits and two Lion errors. Back-to-back bunt singles with one out put Talley and Poullard on base before a single to left by Moreno and a fielding error by Southeastern allowed both runners to score (McN 2, SE 0)

A sacrifice fly by Kaylee Lopez scored Moreno from third (McN 3, SE 0)

T2: Southeastern got on the board off an RBI double to right-center by Madisen Blackford (McN 3, SE 1)

B2: Reese Reyna with her second home run this season (McN 4, SE 1)

B3: The Cowgirls scored two runs on one hit and a Lion error (McN 6, SE 1)

B4: McNeese added three more runs in the fourth (McN 9, SE 1). A double by Talley brings home Reyna and Willingham. Poullard then singles to first to score Talley from second base

T5: Southeastern avoided the run-rule loss by scoring three runs off a three-run home run (McN 9, SE 4)

B5: A single to center by Talley scored Toni Perrin (McN 10, SE 4)

NCAA SELECTION SHOW

Start time: 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT on Sunday, May 15

TV channel: ESPN2

On DirecTV, ESPN2 is channel 209. On Dish, ESPN2 is channel 143.

Online live stream: ESPN.com/watch

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