May 16, 2014 11:09 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - Shelbi Redfearn hit a three-run home run in the third inning and Shellie Landry had two hits and scored three runs as the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns softball team picked up a 7-4 win over Texas Southern (31-19) in the opening round of the 2014 NCAA Lafayette Regional. The Cajuns (45-8-1) will now take on Texas, the winner of the regional opening game, on Saturday at noon, with the winner advancing to the regional championship game.
Redfearn now has a three-run home run in back-to-back games, giving the Cajuns the decisive run in each.
"At this point in the season it's about surviving, doesn't matter how you do it," head coach Michael Lotief said. "It's just getting out there and finding a way. I'm proud of my kids, I'm proud of the way they fought, and the way that they came out and stayed with it. They have trust in each other and they trust in their preparation, and the crowd was incredible."
Landry continued her late season surge, getting the Cajuns on the board in the bottom of the second inning with a solo-home run to lead off the inning, making it 1-0, Cajuns.
After scoring a pair of runs on an RBI single by Samantha Walsh, scoring Haley Hayden, and an illegal pitch that plated Lexie Elkins, Louisiana added to the lead in the bottom of the third, plating five runs on four hits, highlighted by Redfearn's 14th home run of the season, to give the Cajuns a 6-0 advantage.
The Lady Tigers plated two runs in the next half-inning, after loading the bases on walks, they strung together back-to-back RBI singles to cut the Cajuns lead to 6-2.
Texas Southern continued to cut into the Cajuns deficit in the top of the fifth, adding two more runs, first on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, and then on the next at bat with a fielder's choice after a ball fell between Hayden and Corin Voinché, but a heads up play by Voinché got the runner out at second.
Voinché continued to help the Cajuns in their half of the fifth, driving in Hayden with a single up the middle, making it 7-4.
Christina Hamilton picked up her 25th win of the season in 27 decisions, tossing 6.2 non-consecutive innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while walking three and striking out four.
"As the tournament goes, it's going to keep getting better and better," Lotief said. "Texas Southern proved why they are here. I think they are a worthy opponent. It's going to be about kids getting out there and fighting and competing. The seeds don't mean anything. It's about surviving and advancing and it's about trusting and believing and I think that's what our teams did today."
The Cajuns return to Lamson Park Saturday at noon, to take on Texas (34-21), with the winner advancing to the Lafayette Regional championship game. The loser will take on the winner of the Mississippi State-Texas Southern game, in an elimination game at 6 p.m.