McNeese defeats Minnesota in 13 innings at Seattle Regional

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SEATTLE, Wa. — McNeese softball continued it record breaking season and extended its winning streak to 11 games when Rylie Bouvier singled to centerfield in the top of the 13th inning that scored Mariana Torres in what proved to be the winning run in its 5-4 win over Minnesota Friday to open the Seattle Region.

McNeese (45-14) got solid pitching from both starter Ashley Vallejo and reliever Whitney Tate along with solid defense and 14 hits to defeat the Golden Gophers (37-18) to advance to a 4 p.m. (CT) game against the winner of Washington and Northern Colorado. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.

Alayis Seneca, Emily Phillips, and Bouvier all picked up three hits for the Cowgirls with Bouvier leading the way with three RBI including her second homerun this season in the fourth inning that gave McNeese a 3-2 lead, its first lead of the game.

Minnesota took advantage of a Cowgirl miscue in the second inning to take the early 1-0 lead. After an illegal pitch was called on Minnesota’s Autumn Pease that allowed Alayis Seneca to return to the plate, Seneca took advantage of it and tripled to right field. Seneca later scored on a sacrifice fly by Reese Reyna to even the game at one apiece. The lead didn’t last long as the Golden Gophers retook the lead on a Kyla Chavez solo homerun for a 2-1 lead in the third inning.

Just as the Cowgirl lead didn’t last long, Minnesota’s lead didn’t either as Bouvier gave McNeese a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning on Bouvier’s second homerun of the season.

The Cowgirls held onto the lead until the sixth inning when a RBI single up the middle by Taylor Krapf scored Jess Oakland to tie the game at three all. The Cowgirl defense came up big with two outs and pinch runner Billi Connell on first when Maddy Ehike doubled to left center but the Cowgirls made the perfect relay to get Connell out at home in what would have been the potential winning run to end the inning.

McNeese attempted to score the go ahead run in the seventh inning after Seneca singled to left then stole second to move into scoring position. Seneca was thrown out at the plate following a Chloe Gomez to single left and the leftfielder made the perfect throw at home to get Seneca out.

Vallejo who allowed three runs on seven hits in 7.2 innings, got the Golden Gophers out in order in the seventh inning to send the game into extra innings.

Both teams threatened to score in the next four inning but neither team could push a run across until the 13th inning.

In the 13th inning, McNeese strung three straight hits together including doubles by Phillips and Mariana Torres. Torres’ double scored Phillips to give the Cowgirls a 4-3 lead then Bouvier singled to center to score Torres for the 5-3 lead.

Natalie DenHartog, who entered the game with 12 homeruns, brought the Golden Gophers to within one run with a leadoff solo homerun to start the bottom of the 13th. Tate got the next two batters out before giving up a double to Ehike and walked pinch hitter Clare Ceynowa to represent the tying and winning runs. Tate calmly stepped into the pitching circle and got Breezy Burnett to fly out to center to end the game.

Tate picked up the win to improve to 17-4 on the year. Tate allowed one run on four hits, walked three and struck out one.

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