UL-L blasts No. 5 Arizona State
Wallace shuts down Sun Devil offense as Cajuns romp
LAFAYETTE, La. -- No. 10 Louisiana-Lafayette made a statement Thursday evening as it raced by defending champion and fifth-ranked Arizona State 9-2. UL-L (24-0, 3-0) used a three-run fourth inning to build a 5-0 lead as the Cajuns picked up their third win against a ranked squad on the year.
Jordan Wallace (12-0) hurled her seventh complete game of the season. She allowed five hits, two runs and struck out three ASU (26-3) hitters.
Nerissa Myers finished 2 for 3 including her fourth home run of the year and drove in three runs. Sarah Draheim also homered and had RBI in a 3 for 4 night.
“I think our kids played extremely well tonight against an extremely good team in an awesome venue,” co-head coach Michael Lotief said. “I thought Jordan was steady the entire game and trusted the plan, her teammates, and went pitch by pitch. The fifth year kids that have been through the battles, gave us a since of belief and we never doubted. It’s a good win.”
The Cajuns were the visitors in the ballgame and Katie Smith led off the contest with an infield single to shortstop and was moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Nerissa Myers. Orgeron walked as the Cajuns had runners on first and second with one out, but were unable put a run on the scoreboard as Matte Haack fouled out and Paige Cormier hit a groundball to short for the third out.
Wallace showed she was ready for the challenge, retiring the No. 5 Sun Devils in order in the bottom of the first. Cormier snagged a liner hit by leadoff hitter, Katelyn Boyd, and Wallace struck out the next two ASU batters to end the inning.
Draheim recorded the second hit of the game for the Cajuns on a blooper to right field to begin the second. Brianna Cherry grounded out on a fielder’s choice as Arizona State kept UL scoreless by striking out Erikka Murphy and caught Cherry stealing.
Wallace sent the Sun Devils down in order again in the bottom half on two fly outs and a groundout.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got the leadoff hitter aboard for the third consecutive inning as Natalie Fernandez singled on a chopper to third base. Smith sacrificed her over to second and the next batter, Myers, launched her fourth homerun of the year on the first pitch she saw to dead center, giving Louisiana a 2-0 lead.
Wallace allowed her first base runners of the game, walking Talor Haro and surrendering a two out single to Boyd. She was able to induce Alix Johnson into a fly out to center to end the frame.
Cormier walked on five pitches as UL-L put its leadoff batter on for the fourth consecutive inning. Draheim stepped in the box and on the first pitch, blasted her third long ball of the year to right field, upping the Louisiana lead to 4-0. The Cajuns manufactured their fifth run of the game as Smith slapped a groundout, scoring Cherry from third.
With two outs in the top of the fifth, Cormier tripled to right center and was brought home on a Draheim single up the middle for a 6-0 Louisiana advantage.
The Cajuns didn’t stop there as Murphy reached on a leadoff walk in the top of the sixth and scored on a one out RBI double from Myers to left center. Two batters later, Haack, smoked a ball through the left side, plating the shortstop, giving UL an 8-0 lead.
Boyd put Arizona State on the scoreboard with an opposite field blast to left field, cutting the UL lead to 8-1. The Sun Devils recorded their second run of the game on an RBI single from Amber Freeman, before Wallace got Nikole Afusia to pop out to end the sixth.
Louisiana added their final run of the game on a bouncer hit up the middle by Fernandez, which scored Cherry from second for a 9-2 advantage.