Vincent goes 5-for-8 in Louisiana-Lafayette's sweep of South Alabama
MOBILE, Ala. -- Kelsey Vincent and Leandra Maly combined for 10 hits while Jordan Wallace and Christina Hamilton each tossed complete games in leading the seventh-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette to a doubleheader sweep of No. 24 South Alabama in the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams on Saturday at Jaguar Field.
In the opener, Vincent went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs while Maly went 3-for-3 in leading the Ragin' Cajuns to a 3-2 victory. In the nightcap, Hamilton tossed her first complete game of the season while Vincent went 3-for-4 with a solo home run as Louisiana (17-2, 2-0 SBC) claimed a 9-3 win.
GAME 1 -- Louisiana 3, South Alabama 2
Vincent, who went 0-for-7 in a three-game series at Alabama last weekend, broke up a scoreless contest in the third inning when her double off South Alabama starter Devin Brown (7-3) scored Shellie Landry and gave the Ragin' Cajuns a 1-0 lead.
Vincent added an RBI single in the fifth inning when her single up the middle scored Lexie Elkins, who had led off the inning when she reached on a two-base error by Kalen McGill. Elkins added a run in the third for Louisiana when she drew a walk, moved to third on Vincent's double and scored on a wild pitch.
"I thought Kelsey played well and I thought a lot of kids had some quality at-bats," Lotief said. "It was good for Kelsey. She was down after the Alabama series, but she's worked hard since the fall and last year. She has the ability to do that every weekend. Hitting is hard and very difficult to do. And you can't take a small sample size to label a kid based on [last week]. She is evolving as a hitter and the evolution sometimes takes years. Unfortunately for our sport, you only have about three or four years."
That was enough for Wallace (7-1), who scattered three hits and fanned eight in earning the win.
South Alabama collected a pair of hits in the sixth inning and scored twice after sending eight batters to the plate. Emily Messer led off with a single and moved to second when Kristian Foster was hit by a pitch. Chloe Rathburn followed with a one-out single to left to drive in Messer and Amanda Minahan later drew a bases-loaded walk to cut the lead to 3-2.
But Wallace got Amanda Herron to pop up to third baseman Samantha Walsh and end the threat before earning a pair of strikeouts in the seventh and getting Stephanie Pilkington to fly out to end the game.
Aleah Craighton added a base hit for Louisiana while Haley Hayden and Elkins each drew a pair of walks. Messer went 2-for-3 to lead South Alabama while Brown allowed two hits with five walks and three strikeouts in 3.2 innings in the circle.
GAME 2 -- Louisiana 9, South Alabama 3
Hamilton (4-1), whose longest outing of the season was a 5.2-inning performance against Iowa on Feb. 20, tossed her first complete game of the season for Louisiana after scattering seven hits and fanning one.
The 2014 All-American Hamilton was aided by a Ragin' Cajun 10-hit attack, highlighted by a 3-for-4 performance by Vincent and two hits each from Maly and Shellie Landry.
Louisiana took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Hayden led off with a walk, moved to second on a base hit by Landry, third on a dropped fly ball by Pilkington and scored on a fielder's choice by Walsh.
After South Alabama (15-5, 0-2 SBC) tied the game on Rathburn's RBI single that plated Messer, Louisiana scored three runs in the second inning to put the game away.
Maly led off the inning with a walk off Brown (7-4) and moved to second when Kelli Martinez drew a one-out walk. After Hayden walked to load the bases, Landry greeted reliever McGill with a two-run chopper into left field and Elkins followed with the first of three sacrifice flies in the game.
The Ragin' Cajuns took a 5-1 lead in the fourth inning when Hayden reached on a two-base error, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when Elkins lined a sacrifice fly to left.
South Alabama cut the lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth when Blair Johnson launched a solo home run to right field before Vincent answered for the Ragin' Cajuns with her second home of the season to lead off the fifth.
Elkins added her third sacrifice fly for Louisiana in the sixth inning when she drove in Hayden, who finished 1-for-2 with three walks and four runs scored. The Ragin' Cajuns plated a pair of runs in the seventh when Maly drove in her first run of the season with an RBI single and DJ Sanders drove in Craighton with a grounder to short.
Messer and Pilkington had two hits each to lead South Alabama while McGill scattered nine hits and allowed four earned runs in 5.2 innings of relief. Brown took the loss after allowing four runs with four walks in 1.1 innings in the circle.