LAFAYETTE — Taylor Terrio has been up to bat in a big spot for Louisiana-Lafayette for two consecutive games.
Wednesday night’s effort against McNeese State saw Terrio find herself up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning and nobody out. She singled up the middle, scoring Sarah Arceneaux from third base and giving the Ragin’ Cajuns a 5-4 win over the Cowgirls.
“Being on this team is a dream come true,” Terrio said. “I am just doing anything to help my team win. I’m aggressive as I can, and just do anything to help them win.”
Cajuns coach Michael Lotief said the fifth-ranked Cajuns (20-1) are flawed, but he said he likes their ability to battle.
“I keep saying this, but we do not play perfect softball,” Lotief said. “What is awesome about this team is that they give stuff away, but they are resilient enough to not get down on themselves and just keep fighting.”
The Cowgirls fell to 16-6.
Starting pitcher Alex Stewart was cruising into the sixth inning and the Cajuns were up 4-1 before she walked three Cowgirls. McNeese scored three runs in the sixth, including a two-RBI single from Shanice Hagler.
Hagler’s single scored Hailey Drew on a controversial play at the plate where Cajuns catcher Lexie Elkins made the tag, but her glove fell off. The ball never left the glove, but the umpire called Drew safe and Elkins was shaken up on the play.
Elkins stayed in however, going 3-for-5 on the day with two RBIs. Lotief said Elkins’ determination to stay in the game inspires him.
“Lexie Elkins has guts,” he said. “She’s cut, battered, banged up. You don’t find a lot of female athletes that are that physically and mentally tough. She’s not a super hero. To do what she did tonight when she’s banged up and you know she’s not at her best, but to find a way to continue, it’s fun to watch her play. It’s hard to put into words because that is special what is going on there. She is about grit and fight and I appreciate her toughness. It inspires me to watch kids play the game that way.”
Lotief said he knows continuing to work from behind will eventually catch up to the Cajuns, but for now he said he enjoying his team battling through adversity.
“Sometimes, it works out for us and sometimes it doesn’t,” Lotief said. “Persistence and resiliency and the will to continue to fight are good characteristics to have. Some of the other stuff we can clean it up. If you have a team that is willing to keep battling, that’s a good thing.”