Ashley Brignac was brilliant, as usual, and the UL bats came alive late in Game 2 of the NCAA Softball Regional at Lamson Park in an 8-0 run-rule victory over heavy underdog Mississippi Valley State Friday evening.
A Lamson Park-record crowd of 2,628 saw Brignac face only two batters over the minimum in her six innings. She allowed a single to Alexandria Robertson in the first inning and issued a two-out walk to Rachelle Harris in the second, and other than that the SWAC champ Delta Devilettes (34-18) didn’t manage a base runner.
Brignac (22-3) also fanned nine through the first five innings, striking out the side in the fifth in the middle of a stretch of 13 straight batters retired.
The Cajuns (50-4) actually gave Brignac all the support the senior needed in the second inning with a pair of runs, but the home-run bats came out in a five-run fifth inning. UL catcher Matte Haack poked a one-out two-run homer over the left field wall, her eighth of the year, to make it 4-0.
Later in that same inning, Paige Cormier took a pitch from losing pitcher Alicia Lorenz (19-9) over the left-field wall for a three-run shot. Then, fittingly, Cormier ended the abbreviated game with an RBI single with two outs in the sixth that scored Brianna Cherry from second base.
Nerissa Myers had an RBI double and Cherry a sacrifice fly in the third for the Cajuns’ first two runs, part of an attack that generated 12 hits.
The top-seeded Cajuns move into Saturday’s winner’s bracket final against Stanford, a 1-0 victor over Baylor in Friday’s tournament opener. That game is set for 1 p.m., and a limited number of general admission (outfield-seating) tickets were still available as of Friday evening.
Baylor and Mississippi Valley play an elimination game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, and the winner of that game turns around and faces the UL-Stanford loser at 6 p.m. The eventual survivors move to championship Sunday with the finals at 1 p.m. and the if-necessary game at approximately 3:30 p.m.