The opening game of the Lafayette Regional at UL’s Lamson Park was a throwback to the way softball was played a couple of decades ago – low-scoring and pitcher-dominated.
Stanford’s only run of the game came on a pair of hits sandwiched around a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the fifth inning, and that turned into the deciding run as the Cardinals took a 1-0 victory over Baylor in Friday’s opening game.
The host Ragin’ Cajuns, the regional’s top seed, face fourth-seeded Mississippi Valley State in the Friday nightcap scheduled for 6 p.m., and most UL fans will be expecting a lot more scoring – especially since the Cajuns took a 21-0 win over MVSU’s Delta Devilettes earlier this season. But MVSU, the SWAC champion to earn its NCAA automatic berth, is a different team now and has its pitching staff healthy – something that wasn’t the case in the earlier game.
In Friday’s opener, Stanford’s Hanna Winter had an infield single to lead off the fifth, Leah White sacrificed her to second and Cassandra Roulund’s two-out single up the middle plated the game’s only run. That supported the pitching of Stanford’s Teagan Gerhart (31-11), who scattered six singles and was only threated once.
That Bear threat came in the fifth inning when Kelsi Kettler singled, was sacrificed to second and Sydney Wilson was hit by a pitch. Wth one out, Kathy Shelton singled to right and pinch runner Shelbi Redfearn was held at third base. However, Wilson didn’t stop and was trapped between second and third, and during that rundown Redfearn attempted to score and was thrown out at the plate.
The Bears only managed one baserunner on a walk after that in falling into the loser’s bracket to face the UL-MVSU loser at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Stanford will face the UL-MVSU winner in Saturday’s opening game at 1 p.m.