LAFAYETTE, La. – Two-out hitting and clutch pitching by Louisiana- Lafayette's Christina Hamilton led the Ragin' Cajuns to a 5-3 game 1 victory over Arizona in the Lafayette Super Regional on Friday night at Lamson Park.
In the complete-game victory, Hamilton (28-2) struck out four and walked four, while allowing seven hits and three runs (two earned).
For Arizona (44-15), Estela Piñon (19-9) took the loss, going three innings and allowing five runs on five hits with a strikeout and four walks. Shelby Babcock pitched the final three innings and allowed no runs on one hit with two strikeouts and five walks.
Arizona and ULL (48-8-1) will meet tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. CDT. The Wildcats will need to win the game to force the if-necessary third game at 5:00 p.m. CDT. All of tomorrow's action can be seen on ESPNU.
Arizona took the lead one batter into the game when Hallie Wilson sent her fourth homer of the postseason and second to lead off a game over the right field wall.
After the bottom of the first appeared to be over, a dropped foul tip resulted in an elongated at-bat for Samantha Walsh, who homered on the next pitch, a two-run shot to give the Ragin' Cajuns a 2-1 lead after one.
The Cajuns added two more two-out runs in the bottom of the second on RBI hits from Natalie Fernandez and Haley Hayden to give ULL a 4-1 lead.
A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases for the Ragin' Cajuns in the third with one out. Sara Corbello hit a sacrifice fly to extend the Lafayette lead to 5-1.
Three Babcock walks loaded the bases with one out in the sixth but she escaped the jam unscathed after a pop out and a ground out.
The Wildcats were unable to get anything going in the middle innings as they left 10 runners on base for the contest.
Trailing 5-1 in the seventh, Kelsey Rodriguez led off the inning by reaching on a throwing error by the catcher on a bunt. Kellie Fox followed by belting her 15th homer of the year on a 1-0 pitch to pull the Wildcats to within 5-3 with no outs. After a pair of strikeouts, Mo Mercado reached on a single to center to bring the tying run to the plate but a hard ground out by Lauren Young ended the Arizona rally.