ULM stuns No. 14 Ragin’ Cajuns in series finale, 2-1

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LAFAYETTE, La. – Korie Kreps homered and slammed into the center-field wall to record the final out of the game while Amber Coons pitched three and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief as ULM softball stunned No. 14 Louisiana Lafayette, 2-1, on Senior Day Saturday afternoon at Lamson Park. With the win, the Warhawks snapped a 24-game losing streak in the series against the Ragin’ Cajuns.

“Wow, what an incredible step in the right direction for our program,” ULM head coach Molly Fichtner said. “I’m so proud of this team. They’ve trusted the process all year, and this was an unbelievable way to wrap-up our last regular-season conference game. It’s a huge momentum builder for us going to the conference tournament. We’re going to celebrate this moment and then start preparing for Tuesday’s game.”

With two outs in the top of the first inning, Kreps sent a 1-2 pitch from Summer Ellyson over the right-center field wall for a solo home run as ULM (16-30, 6-15 Sun Belt) jumped out to a 1-0 lead. It marked her fourth homer of the season, her first since Game 1 of a doubleheader at Georgia Southern on March 20.

The Warhawks added another run in the top of the second. Andie Edwards led off the inning with an infield single to shortstop, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kennedy Johnson, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Madelyn Fletcher’s sacrifice fly to center field.

The Ragin’ Cajuns (40-10, 21-3), who collected four hits and stranded four runners through the first three innings, finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded and one out, Sophie Piskos delivered a pinch-hit RBI single through the right side, scoring Jade Gortarez from third. Gortarez opened the frame with a single up the middle. With the bases still loaded and one out, Coons came out of the bullpen to record a strikeout and groundout to preserve ULM’s 2-1 lead.

Coons, who improved her record to 5-4 on the season, retired 10 of the 11 batters she faced, with the only blemish being a two-out single by Gortarez in the bottom of the fifth. Gortarez made the final out of the inning as she was caught attempting to steal second base.

Coons recorded three flyouts in the bottom of the seventh. Piskos flied out to Kennedy Page in left field, Ciara Bryan fouled out to right fielder Alysia Anderson, who made a running catch in foul territory, and Kaitlyn Alderink lined out to Kreps, who ran into the center-field wall to secure the final out.

ULM starter Gianni Hulett pitched three and one-third innings and allowed one run on seven hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

Ellyson (20-6), who took the loss, went seven innings and surrendered two runs on two hits with one walk and three strikeouts.

ULL outhit the Warhawks, 8-2, but stranded seven base runners.

The 2021 Sun Belt Conference Softball Championship is scheduled for May 11-15 in Troy, Alabama.

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