McNeese beats Southeastern in SLC Tournament Semi-Finals, Advances to Championship

Published: May. 12, 2023 at 6:49 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Thursday was a long day for the McNeese Cowgirls, after multiple games were postponed from Wednesday to Thursday due to weather, McNeese’s Semi-Final matchup with the Southeastern Lady Lions, which was originally scheduled for 1:30, was delayed until 6:30, and then was delayed once again due to more weather, and didn’t begin until just after 9:00.

When the game did finally get underway, it was the Lady Lions who caught fire first, with the bases loaded, Southeastern’s Maddie Leal singled up the middle bringing in Madison Rayner to put Southeastern up 1-0 in the second inning, but McNeese responded quickly.

Chloe Gomez tied the game up for McNeese in the bottom of the third with a single through the left side that brought in Alayis Seneca, and then later in the inning the Cowgirls took the lead with a Mariana Torres walk that brought in Reese Reyna from third.

A Southeastern triple to right center knotted the game back up in the sixth, but McNeese responded almost instantly. In the bottom half of the sixth Kaylee Lopez, the hero from Wednesday’s walk-off win over Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, dribbled one to the pitcher, but aggressive baserunning from Torres paid off as she beat the tag at home putting McNeese back in front late. The Cowgirls then added three insurance runs in the sixth thanks to a triple from Seneca that brought in two, and then an RBI single off the bat of Reyna, that scored Seneca.

McNeese would go on to win 6-2 to advance to the Southland Conference Championship for the fourth consecutive year, and Ashley Vallejo was credited with the win after her complete game, four-strikeout performance.

“There’s going to be a good team that’s in the finals, and I think we did a really good job tonight, and when things didn’t go well we settled down, and we got ourselves under control. We truly played the game one pitch at a time and that’s what I asked our players to do. I could feel a couple of times the emotions got up and they were able to settle down and stay within the game, and that’s what we’ve got to do when we come out next week, it’s not about a championship, it’s about playing good softball in another game,” said Cowgirls’ head coach James Landreneau following the win.

The loss sent Southeastern to the loser’s bracket on Friday, but the Lady Lions beat Lamar 8-0 Friday afternoon to set up a rematch with McNeese in the Southland Conference Championship.

Saturday’s Championship is set for noon at Cowgirl Diamond, with a game at 2:30 to follow if McNeese loses in game one.