Cajuns blank Omaha to open NCAA Regional play
Stormy Kotzelnick charged the offense, going 2-for-4 with two RBI
BATON ROUGE, La. – The 22nd-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Louisiana Softball team opened the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional with a 5-0 victory over the Omaha Mavericks on Friday, May 19 at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge.
Louisiana (47-13) jumped out to an early lead as Mihyia Davis registered an infield single and moved in to scoring position with her 47th stolen base of her rookie campaign. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Davis was driven in by Stormy Kotzelnick on a grounder to second.
Omaha (32-16) threatened in the top half of the second as the Mavericks loaded the bases, but Sam Landry (4.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R 5 K) was able to get out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts.
Davis (2-for-3, 2 R, 2 SB) and Kotzelnick (2-for-4, double, 2 RBI) provided more offense for the Ragin’ Cajuns in the third as Davis singled to left before moving to second with another stolen base. Kotzelnick tallied her second RBI of the game as she drove Davis in on a single to left center.
In the fourth, the Cajuns continued to add to their lead as Karly Heath launched her team-leading 15th home run of the season to give Louisiana a 3-0 advantage.
Kotzelnick was a spark once again for the Louisiana offense as she doubled to right with one out in the fifth and scored on a Sophie Piskos double to left center. Lauren Allred followed with a double of her own, plating Piskos, giving the Ragin’ Cajuns a 5-0 lead.
Davis, Kotzelnick and Piskos (2-for-3, 2 doubles, RBI) combined to go 6-for-10 with four runs scored, three RBI and three doubles.
In the circle, Landry earned her 18th victory as the right-hander threw 4-1/3 innings scattering four hits and fanning five. Meghan Schorman came on in relief and struck out four in 1-2/3 innings of work. Kandra Lamb closed out the game, striking out the side to lock up the pitching staff’s 19th shutout.
For the eighth straight game – all in the month of May – the Ragin’ Cajuns pitching staff limited the opposition to one run or less (31st time overall). Louisiana’s defense continued to execute, playing flawlessly for the fourth straight game and 10th time in the last 13 outings dating back to April 22.
Friday’s triumph extended Louisiana’s season-best winning streak to 13 games and marked the 23rd win in the past 26 games dating back to April 1.
Louisiana and Omaha met on the softball diamond for the first time. The Ragin’ Cajuns were the opposition for the Mavericks’ first-ever NCAA Tournament contest.
The Ragin’ Cajuns picked up the program’s 84th all-time NCAA postseason victory, the 13th-most in softball history, and advanced into the winner’s bracket of a regional for the 15th time in the 2000s era. In the current Tiger Park, Louisiana has moved on in the winner’s bracket in all six appearances (2010, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2021, 2023).
UP NEXT FOR LOUISIANA
Louisiana continues play at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional against either host LSU or Prairie View on Saturday at Noon. The winner of the contest lands a spot in Championship Sunday.
The game can be seen on the ESPN Family of Networks or heard in the Acadiana region on 103.3 FM The Goat and worldwide on the Varsity Network App.
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