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Kayt Houston
Kayt Houston became the career leader for hits and total bases
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App State Softball Falls to 23rd Ranked Louisiana

Despite trailing early, the App State Mountaineers battled to trim a three-run deficit to just one in the fifth, using a clutch Addie Wray triple and screaming RBI double by Kayt Houston to score, but the No. 23 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns bounced back to secure a 6-2 win on Friday.

App State (15-15-, 3-5 SBC) battled all game at the plate, forcing several deep counts and seeing runners reach in all but two innings. Six different players accounted for the Mountaineers’ seven hits in the game, highlighted by Houston’s two-hit game and Taylor Thorp’s 100th career hit in the sixth inning.

The Mountaineer defense did well to keep the strong Ragin’ Cajun (23-13, 8-0 SBC) offense in check, keeping them to just three runs through the first five innings. A pair of great plays by Olivia Cook at third base helped save hits and a running catch in center by Wray prevented extra bases in the fourth. Delani Buckner got the start in game 2 and used her defense to work five solid innings.

Sejal Neas made her way to the circle in the sixth inning and did well to give the Mountaineers a chance to tie the game and take the lead in the late stages of the contest. She retired eight of the 10 hitters she saw in her two innings of work.

Taking the field on defense first, Delani Buckner made her fourth start of the year in game two of the three-game set with the Ragin’ Cajuns. Louisiana came out hot to start the contest, scoring two runs on three hits to take an early lead.

Unfazed by the strong start from Louisiana, Grace Barrett singled into left field to put the first Mountaineer baserunner aboard, bringing the large crowd that came out to Sywassink/Lloyd Family Field to their feet. The Ragin’ Cajuns induced a double play to end the inning and keep their lead after one.

Buckner bounced back nicely in the second, stranding two runners in the second to post a scoreless frame. The Cajuns answered with a scoreless second to keep their two-run lead.

Louisiana tacked on a run in the third, but the Mountaineers threatened in their half of the third, loading the bases with one out. Brooke Kennerly worked a one-out walk and Abby Cunningham followed her by battling through seven pitches to draw another walk.

Then Houston shot a grounder between the second baseman and shortstop to load the bases as she tallied her 220th career hit. She is only the second player in program history to reach 220 career hits. The Ragin’ Cajuns rolled a double play to end the threat, keeping App State off the board in the third.

Dueling zeros in the fourth, highlighted by a slick play at third base by Cook to nail the lead runner after a double sent things to the fifth with Louisiana still ahead by three.

App State found its offense in the fifth inning, scoring a pair of runs to trim the deficit to one run. Cook’s solid defense in the field helped fire her up at the plate as she shot a single up the middle to start the rally. It was Cook’s third hit of the series.

After falling behind 0-2, Wray delivered a long fly ball into left field that beat the drawn-in outfield and plated Cook to put the Mountaineers on the board. The Cajuns recorded the next two outs, but Houston kept the inning alive with a screaming double into the left-field corner to score Wray to trim the Louisiana lead to one after five.

Louisiana answered the Mountaineers’ two-run inning with their fourth run in the sixth to reclaim a two-run advantage. Looking to fire back, Thorp shot a hard liner into the right-center field gap to put a baserunner aboard in the sixth, but a double play ended the inning.

Another pair of runs in the seventh by Louisiana extended its lead to four and Sam Landry retired the last three hitters to claim the win on Friday.