BOCA RATON, Fla. — The WKU softball team managed just four hits Friday morning against Louisiana-Lafayette in the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Softball Championship at FAU Softball Stadium, as the Ragin' Cajuns scored eight runs in the first two innings on their way to a 12-1 win.
Louisiana-Lafayette (48-3) used the running game to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Katie Smith led off the inning with an infield single. Nerissa Myers hit a fly ball that appeared to go foul, but the wind pushed the ball barely into fair territory. Kelsie Mattox threw to second to retire Smith, who held up at first with the ball in the air. Myers stole second, then advanced to third on a passed ball.
After Emily Rousseau struck out Christi Orgeron for the second out, Matte Haack drew a walk. With runners at the corners, the Ragin' Cajuns attempted a double steal. Karavin Dew threw to third to get Myers in a rundown, but Myers beat the throw back home from Preslie Cruce to put Louisiana-Lafayette ahead 1-0. Haack advanced to third on the play. Rousseau would hold the Ragin' Cajuns to just one run in the inning, striking out Brianna Cherry looking to end the frame.
WKU (32-24-1) attempted to tie the game in the bottom of the first. Cruce drew a lead-off walk, advancing to second on a Mattox sacrifice. Louisiana-Lafayette's starting pitcher, Jordan Wallace, kept Cruce at second base by striking out Dew and getting Amanda Walden to ground out. The Ragin' Cajuns offense exploded in the top of the second. Paige Cormier led off with a home run to left field, making the score 2-0. With the bases loaded and one out, Myers hit an RBI single to left field to put Louisiana-Lafayette ahead 3-0. After Orgeron popped out, Haack cleared the bases with a three-RBI double to put the score at 6-0. The Ragin' Cajuns went ahead 8-0 on a two-run home run by Cherry. Louisiana-Lafayette sent 11 batters to the plate in the second, scoring seven runs on four hits.
The Ragin' Cajuns added another run via the double steal in the third, making the score 9-0. The Lady Toppers got their first hit in the game in the bottom of the third. With one out, Olivia Watkins beat out an infield single hit to the shortstop Myers. Cruce followed that with a double to right centerfield. Watkins scored all the way from first for WKU's first run of the game, making the score 9-1.
Louisiana-Lafayette added three runs in the fifth for the 12-1 win. The Ragin' Cajuns had eight hits in the game, while the Lady Toppers had four. Wallace struck out four batters in the five-inning game.
WKU will take on ULM in an elimination game 12 p.m. central.