Gator Softball Loses Game-1 of WCWS
Louisiana Lafayette's Ragin' Cajuns picked up an extra-inning opening round upset win over #1 national seed Florida by a score of 3-2 on Thursday afternoon in Oklahoma City.
The Cajuns (52-13) were trailing 2-0 before Vanessa Soto hit a two-RBI double off of the centerfield wall to tie the score in the fifth inning. With the score deadlocked at 2-2 in the eighth inning, Holly Tankersley hit a game-winning home run to the bleachers in centerfield. The home run put the Cajuns ahead 3-2 and the Cajuns' defense secured the victory over the #1 team in the country.
Ashley Brignac was masterful in the circle for the Cajuns in her Women's College World Series debut. The freshman worked 8.0 innings scattering six hits. She surrendered just a pair of runs, while recording a career-high 15 strikeouts. Florida's ace Stacey Nelson threw an impressive game of her own -- giving up three runs on eight hits, fanning six batters in the game.
The win propels the Cajuns into the next round in the winner's bracket. The win marks the first WCWS for co-head coaches Michael and Stefni Lotief and the first World Series win for Louisiana since the Cajuns downed Princeton, 5-0, in the 1996 Series.
Florida was the first team to break the scoreless tie. In the second inning, Tiffany DeFelice led off the inning with a single to left centerfield. Brignac fanned the next two batters, but Corrie Brooks doubled down the left field line to score DeFelice from first base to give the Gators a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Kristina Hilberth led off with an infield single. On a sacrifice bunt attempt, Verde fielded and alertly threw to second base to retire the lead runner. With a runner on first and one out, a ground out moved the base runner into scoring position. A second RBI double down the left field line gave the Gators a 2-0 advantage after four complete innings of play.
Florida will next play Virginia Tech in a do-or-die losers bracket game Saturday at noon in a game which can be seen on ESPN.
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