Crislyne Moreno’s walk-off RBI in the 8th lifts McNeese over Northwestern State at Southland Tournament

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Crislyne Moreno
(Photo: Leighton Chamblee)

HAMMOND — Freshman Crislyne Moreno came up with the biggest hit of her young career here Wednesday with a walk off single to right field in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift McNeese over Northwestern State 6-5 in the Cowgirls opening game of the Southland Conference Tournament.

With the win, the Cowgirls (36-19) advance to play No. 2 seed Southeastern at 11 a.m. Thursday. NSU falls into an elimination game on Thursday morning at 11 a.m. to face the winner of the first elimination game between No. 3 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and No. 7 Nicholls.

A win versus the Lions on Thursday by the Cowgirls would put them in Friday’s 12 p.m. championship game. A loss by the Cowgirls placed them in the 6:30 p.m elimination game Thursday.

In a game that consisted of five lead changes, McNeese fought its way through and early 1-0 deficit in the first inning before tying the game at one apiece then took a 3-2 lead in the third. Northwestern State took a 3-2 lead in the fifth but a two out single to left field by pinch hitter Toni Perrin tied the game at three apiece.

Northwestern State (29-21) responded with a solo home run in the top of the seventh to once again take the lead at 4-3 off a solo home run by Makenzie Chaffin in the second batter Cowgirl reliver Whitney Tate faced. Tate regrouped and got two more outs to get out of the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, Jil Poullard walked and Moreno doubled to right before Lopez walked to load the bases. A pinch hit single by Perrin scored Poullard to tie the game up for the fourth time. The Cowgirls weren’t able to push another run across the plate, sending the game into extra innings.

A one out single to center field by Bailie Ragsdale in the eighth put the Lady Demons up 5-4 before Ashley Vallejo, who re-entered the game got the next two batters to pop out to end the top half of the inning, setting up the Cowgirl heroics by Moreno.

McNeese took advantage of a Lady Demon error to put the tying run on in Josie Willingham. Three consecutive bunt singles by Alayis Seneca, Kendall Talley, and Poullard coupled by another Lady Demon error allowed Willingham to score and tie the game five all. Moreno sent the first pitch she saw into right field that scored Seneca for the game winning run.

The Cowgirls ended the game with 10 hits including two doubles, one from Moreno and one from Chloe Gomez. Moreno led the Cowgirls at the plate, going 2 for 3 with one RBI and one walk. Talley, Poullard and Gomez also had two hits apiece.

Ashley Vallejo improved to 17-7 on the year with the win. She allowed three runs on nine hits with two walks.

T2- NW State took a 1-0 lead on a two out single up the middle by Laney Roos (NW St. 1, McN 0)
B2- A two out sac fly by Josie Willingham scored pinch runner Erin Ardoin from third to tie the game (McN 1, NW St. 1)
B3- Cowgirls take the lead on a sac fly to left by Kaylee Lopez that scored Kendall Talley (McN 2, NW State 1)
T4- NW State ties the game on a two out Cowgirl error (McN 2, NW St. 2)
T5- A two out double to left by Kat Marshall gave NW State the lead again (NW St. 3, McN 2)
B6- The Cowgirls tied the game again on a two out single through the left side to score pinch runner Toni Perrin (McN 3, NW State 3)
T7- A one out solo home run put the Lady Demons up again (NW State 4, McN 3)
B7- Pinch hit single by Perrin ties the game again (McN 4, NW St. 4)
T8- NW State took the lead again (5-4) on a RBI single by Bailie Ragsdale (NW St. 5-4)
B8- After a NW State error, McNeese put down three straight bunts to score Willingham to tie the game (McN 5, NW St. 5
B8- McNeese won the game on a walk off single RBI by Moreno (McN 6, NW S

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