LU sent to losers’ bracket

Published 10:37 pm Thursday, May 12, 2016

The News staff reports

LAKE CHARLES — Lamar now has to win three times today to clinch the Southland Conference championship.

Tori Yanitor set an early tone for McNeese State with a two-run home run, and the host Cowgirls went on to earn a spot in the Southland Conference championship game with an 8-4 victory in Thursday’s semifinal round.

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Lamar must defeat Nicholls State or Stephen F. Austin in the losers’ bracket final at 11:30 a.m. today at Cowgirl Diamond. The winner must then defeat McNeese State twice today to win the automatic NCAA tournament berth.

The game didn’t seem to be in doubt through the first two innings. Yanitor’s two-run jack was part of a four-run first inning for the Cowgirls. That got Lamar starter Ciara Luna (16-8) chased after two-thirds of an inning, as she allowed four earned runs on four hits.

An error at second base helped Sarah Ragsdale score on Kelly Meeuwsen’s at-bat to put the Cardinals on the board in the third inning. Meeuwsen scored on a Jenna Holland walk to narrow the deficit to 4-2.

After Meeuwsen pounded a one-run double to center field in the fourth, McNeese State struck back with three runs. Erika Piancastelli drove in two runs on a double down the left-field line and scored on a similar hit by Morgan Catron.

The Cowgirls scored on an error at shortstop in the fifth inning, but the Cards got the run back on Brynn Baca’s double to right-center field. Baca was the Cards’ only multiple hitter with two.

Lauren Dannelley held McNeese to three earned runs on five hits in three full innings, with Laura Napoli allowing an unearned run on no hits in the final 2 1/3. Jamie Allred got the win, scattering three earned runs and seven hits over 5 2/3, with Jolie Trahan working 1 1/3 hitless and scoreless frames.

The game was pushed back by more than 2 hours because of inclement weather.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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