Louisiana Softball Sweeps Baylor

LAFAYETTE – Lexie Elkins homered and Jordan Wallace held No. 14 Baylor to three hits in a 3-1 victory in the opener, then the No. 10 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns softball team erupted for 12 runs in the fourth inning of a 12-2 (5 inn.) win in game two to complete a doubleheader sweep of the Bears on Saturday at Lamson Park.

The sweep extended the Ragin' Cajuns current win streak to seven games and improved the squad's record against ranked foes in 2015 to 5-3.

Elkins' home run, her 20th of the season, provided Louisiana (32-5) a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the opener. After Baylor (29-9) trimmed the lead to 2-1 on a solo home run by Sarah Smith in the fourth inning, Wallace retired the next eight hitters to protect the lead.

The Cajuns fell behind 2-0 in the third inning in game two after Baylor's Shelby Friudenberg homered in the third inning.

Leandra Maly posted two of her game-high three hits during the fourth inning, the first triggering the 12-run frame that erased the deficit and put the game out of reach. The Cajuns scored 10-plus runs in a single inning for the first time since April 10, 2013 vs. Southern Miss.

"There were great performances all the way around today, both in pitching and hitting," associate head coach T.J. Hubbard said. "I was proud of the way the kids fought in the second game after falling behind by a couple of runs. That fourth inning was one of the most explosive innings I've ever seen."

Louisiana closes out the home portion of the regular season schedule on Wednesday, April 15 hosting Houston in a 6 p.m., single game. The Cajuns then return to Sun Belt Conference play in Boone, N.C., visiting Appalachian State for a series Saturday-Sunday, April 18-19.

Elkins reached 20 home runs for the second straight season. The junior catcher and Top 26 finalist for the USA Softball Player of the Year award posted 24 home runs a year ago in her debut season with the Cajuns.

Maly finished 3-for-3 in game two, tying her season-and career-high for hits. Shellie Landry's 2-for-4 showing in the finale marked her 12th multiple-hit game of the season.

Haley Hayden reached base both games – single in opener, walk in game two – to extended her string of consecutive games reached base to 26.

After Elkins' home run in the opener, Baylor's Heather Stearns held Louisiana hitless the rest of the way to turn the contest into a pitcher's duel with Wallace.

The Cajuns drew three walks in the fourth inning to load the bases. A pitch from Stearns hit Aleah Craighton to force home pinch runner Cassidy White with an insurance run for Wallace.

Smith singled off the glove of Kelsey Vincent in the top of the seventh inning to end Wallace's string of consecutive batters retired. After a Friudenberg fly out to left field, Wallace struck out Linsey Hays and pinch hitter Christy Lisenby to finish off her 12th career victory over a ranked opponent.

Wallace struck out eight Bears batters and held an opponent to three hits or less for the eighth time in her nine starts this season that have lasted seven innings.

In game two, Cajuns starting pitcher Christina Hamilton and Baylor starter Kendall Potts escaped trouble in the first two innings.

A double play allowed Hamilton to keep Baylor off the board in the first inning after the Bears loaded the bases with three straight infield singles. In the second inning, Potts stranded Cajuns at first and second base after a two-out single by Maly.

A hit by pitch extended the top half of the third inning for Baylor. Friudenberg and the Bears benefitted from Hamilton's miscue as she launched a two-run home run over the left field wall for a 2-0 lead.

After a scoreless third inning, Potts ran into trouble in the fourth inning. A single by Samantha Walsh, walk by Vincent and D.J. Sanders single loaded the bases with no outs. Maly singled to left field to score Walsh, then two additional runs scored after a throwing error by Lindsey Cargill giving Louisiana a 3-2 lead.

Nine more runs would cross the plate in the inning for the Cajuns, the biggest blow being a three-run home run by Kelsey Vincent that extended the lead to 10-2.

The Bears made three pitching changes in the inning. Potts re-entered following relief stints by Sarah Beth Toben and Brooke Seneshen to get the visitors out of the nightmare frame, but allowed Vincent's home run and two additional runs that enforced the run rule.

DIAMOND NOTES: The Ragin' Cajuns honored their 2015 senior class prior to the start of the doubleheader – Linzey Cifreo, Christina Hamilton, Marie Hoag, Leandra Maly, Taylor Meaux and Jordan Wallace… Louisiana improved to 12-6 all-time vs. Baylor (7-2 at Lamson Park)…The Cajuns have won the last five meetings with the Bears…Louisiana and Baylor met at Lamson Park for the first time since Feb. 2007…Shellie Landry's double in game two marked her 25th extra-base hit of the season (10 doubles, 15 home runs), establishing a new career-high…Lexie Elkins has homered in six of the last eight games…Kelsey Vincent has homered in five of the last eight games…Leandra Maly's three hits in game two increased her season total to 30, matching her highest output in a Cajuns uniform set back in 2013…Kelsey Vincent now has 27 RBI, equaling her career-best output established in 2014…Shellie Landry's career-best, 13-game hitting streak came to a close in game one…Haley Hayden's single in the first inning of game one extended her hitting streak to a personal, season-high nine games (streak ended in game two)…The 12-2 win in five innings in game two was Louisiana's 16th run-rule victory…The 12 runs marked the sixth time in the past nine games the Cajuns have reached double figures (dates back to Troy finale).

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