LCU’s run ends in RRAC Tournament

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The Louisiana Christian University softball team saw its 2022 season come to a close, dropping the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament elimination game to the Huston-Tillotson Rams, 7-4, Saturday morning at The Park at St. Mary’s University.

After the first two Ram batters reached on a walk and base hit to start the game, the Wildcats got a shortstop to first base double play to put themselves on the verge of getting out of the jam. However, the clean inning was not to be as a base hit drove in a run from second base. After an error extended the inning, two more runs would score on a pair of hits as Huston-Tillotson took a 3-0 lead before the top half finally ended.

But the bottom half would be just as fruitful for the Wildcats. LCU’s first three batters all reached safely on base hits, though a runner caught stealing took one of those runners off the base paths. A Kayla Dauthier ground ball to third was booted, loading the bases with one out. That’s when Desiree Squires dropped a base hit into right field, which the right fielder misplayed, clearing the bases to tie the score at 3-3 as Lexie Marks, KayeLea Dearmon, and Kayla Dauthier all touched home while Squires moved all the way to third base. However, the faucet turned off for the Wildcat offense at that moment as the next two batters got out, stranding the runner on base, the first two of a drought of 13 straight LCU hitters who would be retired in a row.

The LCU defense kept them in the game, not allowing the Rams to score from the second to the fourth innings as well, keeping the game tied. But in the fifth inning, things turned against the Wildcats as a lead off double and single turned into a pair of runs for the Rams as a single with one out scored both of those runners and HTU took a 5-3 lead. LCU ended the base runner drought in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a base hit with two outs by Emma Hunt, but she would get no further than first base.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Wildcat offense started to come alive again, trying to save the season. With one out, Kayla Dauthier drew a walk to get things started. Her pinch runner, Karlie Stine, moved to second on a base hit by Desiree Squires. Now with two outs, Jordan Dauthier also watched ball four pass by to load the bases, putting the leading run on base. BreAnna Corkern came through, dropping a base hit into left field which allowed Stine to come home to cut the deficit to 5-4. But that would be the end of the offense as a ground ball back to the circle ended the rally with the leading run in scoring position. Huston-Tillotson added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh and LCU had no response in the bottom half, going up and down in order as the season ended in defeat.

Desiree Squires led the offense in the contest, going two-for-three with a RBI. Emma Hunt was the lone other Wildcat with multiple hits, going two-for-four in the contest. BreAnna Corkern went one-for-three with a RBI. Lexie Marks was also one-for-three with a run scored. KayeLea Dearmon went one-for-four with a run scored. Kayla Dauthier drew a walk and scored a run.

Olivia Coaker (4-3) went the distance in the circle for the Wildcats, throwing all seven innings as she gave up 11 hits and seven runs, four earned, walked two and didn’t strike out any batters.

LCU’s first season in the NAIA and Red River Athletic Conference finished with a 27-22 overall record, 16-11 in RRAC play, good enough for a second place finish in the RRAC East Division and fourth overall in the 11-team conference.

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