Cowgirls pull off run-rule upset of No. 18 Notre Dame in regional opener
Evanston, IL (KPLC) - A 10-run first inning propelled McNeese to an upset win over the No. 18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the opening game of the Evanston Regional, 11-1. The victory was the Cowgirls’ first over a Top 25 opponent this season after going 0-5 in previous attempts.
The Cowgirls nearly batted around twice in the first inning as Kendall Talley and Jil Poullard led off the top of the first with base hits followed up by a two-RBI double from Freshman Crislyne Moreno to put McNeese out to an early two-run lead.
The next batter would be Kaylee Lopez who would bring Moreno back around with an RBI single to make it 3-0 McNeese, all before the Irish could record an out.
Following the first out of the top of the first, Notre Dame would change pitchers, but to no avail. Toni Perrin would single to left field allowing Chloe Gomez and Kaylee Lopez to score while advancing Reese Reyna to third to make it 5-0 McNeese.
The Cowgirls would bat around in the first, and with two outs, Kendall Talley would hit a ball between the first baseman’s legs driving in Reese Reyna as the Pokes made it a six-run lead.
Jil Poullard in her second at-bat of the inning, would rip a single to left field to score Perrin and Talley to make it 8-0 in favor of the Cowgirls. The 10-run first inning was capped off with a Kaylee Lopez two-RBI single that scored Moreno and Poullard. Notre Dame would change pitchers after the second inning.
The Irish would get on the board in the bottom of the second inning with two outs when Carlli Kloss would hit a hard ground ball that would tip off of Whitney Tate’s glove. Kloss would be safe at first allowing the runner to score from third to make it 10-1.
The Cowgirls would retake a 10-run lead in the fifth with runners on the corners, Poullard would attempt to steal allowing Kendall Talley to steal home. Poullard would get caught in a rundown and tagged out after the run scored.
Kaylee Lopez led the way for McNeese going 2-for-3 while driving in three runs followed by Jil Poullard, Crislyne Moreno and Toni Perrin who all drove in two runs apiece. Whitney Tate would pitch the full five innings allowing one run on five hits and no walks.
McNeese will now face the winner of Northwestern and Oakland at noon on Saturday.
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