BOONE, North Carolina – A three-run first inning was held for App State as the host-Mountaineers earned a 4-1 victory over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns softball team on Friday, April 22 in the opener of a series of Sun Belt Conferences at Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium.
Kandra lamb closed out the first inning and held the Mountaineers to just one run while striking out 14 batters over the final 5-1/3 innings, but the Ragin’ Cajuns offense was unable to find a decisive moment against App State starting pitcher Delani Buckner.
The loss ended a nine-game winning streak for Louisiana (32-11, 15-4 Sun Belt) and was the first of the team’s week-long spring break trip. starting pitcher Sam Landry suffered his first loss in the Sun Belt game.
HOW DID IT HAPPEN
App State (26-18, 8-9 Sun Belt) initiated an early change of momentum when Buckner induced a double play ball to make up for back-to-back walks the Ragin’ Cajuns had drawn to start the game.
The Mountaineers kept up the momentum in the bottom half of the first, staging a two-out rally after an intentional march to take the lead. Mary Pierce Barnes collected a single from the field to extend the inning further, then Baylee Morton was hit by a pitch and McKenzie McCullen delivered a two-run single to bring App State on the board.
Lamb struck out nine of the first 11 batters she faced with one strikeout as the Mountaineers offense settled. Then in the fourth inning, it was a solo home run of Karly Heath which put the Ragin’ Cajuns on the board, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
Buckner was able to keep the first batter from reaching base for the final five innings, preventing any big innings for Louisiana from developing. The final hurdle was cleared when she persuaded back-to-back pop-ups in round six after Sophie Piskos single and Melissa Mayeux walked with an out.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE BOX SCORE
Heath (1 for 2, HR, RBI) tied for the team lead with her eighth home run of the season, matching the total she posted in her debut for Louisiana in 2021. She landed his 14th extra base hit (4 doubles, 2 triples, 8 homers) on 21 hits recorded this season.
With Heath’s home run, Louisiana reached 50 for the season marking the third straight season completed (2019, 2021, 2022) reaching 50 home runs in the Glasco era.
Lamb (5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 14 K) set a new career high total for strikeouts (14). The total broke his previous career high of 13 in Game 1 of the Georgia State series and was his fourth double-digit strikeout total of the season and eighth of his career.
For the 10th consecutive appearance, Lamb gave up an earned run or less. During the streak, which began March 26 with his perfect five-inning run against UT Arlington, Lamb allowed just four earned runs and 12 hits in 31-1/3 innings pitched.
Louisiana looks to even the series with App State on Saturday, April 23 when the two teams meet at 1:00 p.m. (CDT) at Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium in Boone, NC
The game is televised on ESPN+ and a radio broadcast commentated by Ian Auzenne is available in the Acadiana area on ESPN Lafayette 103.3 FM and 1420 AM and worldwide through the ESPN Lafayette app. Live stats can be accessed at CajunStats.com
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