MOBILE, Ala. — The momentum pendulum swung all day Sunday in Louisiana-Lafayette’s softball game against South Alabama.
The Jaguars put up two runs in the second inning to take an early 3-1 lead. The Cajuns immediately responded, leading off the third with back-to-back solo home runs from Shellie Landry and Lexie Elkins.
The Jaguars didn’t stop, however, putting up a run in the third inning to regain the lead 4-3. The Cajuns didn’t score again until the seventh inning, but by that time, it was too far out of reach and South Alabama won 8-5.
The Cajuns won a doubleheader Saturday to win the series 2-1. Despite the final score Sunday, Cajuns coach Michael Lotief said he was pleased with the effort in the series.
“I don’t like to lose, but that scoreboard doesn’t tell the whole story today,” Lotief said. “Our kids fought the whole way and we made too many mistakes early. We put ourselves in a position to win the game, which is all you really ask.
“It was a well-fought series with two good teams that know each other and go after each other.”
Down 8-3 in the seventh inning, the Cajuns loaded the bases and scored two runs. After the Cajuns scored to make the score 8-5, Landry stepped in with two runners on and no outs.
She ripped a ball just about over South Alabama third baseman Emily Messer’s head, but Messer leaped and made an amazing play, coming down with the ball. Messer then doubled up Kelli Martinez on second for the second out, killing the rally.
“We had the momentum last,” Lotief said. “We had some balls that were smoked in the seventh. You create your own momentum, and I thought we did a good job of battling the whole way. We put ourselves in position to win the game.”
Jordan Wallace started the game, but went just two innings before being relieved by Trahan — who took the loss — in the third inning. Trahan gave up four runs in 2.1 innings, including a three-run home run in the fifth inning to Kaitlyn Griffith, which made the score 7-3.
Alex Stewart came in for the final 1.2 innings, but gave up another run in the sixth, a solo home run to Chole Rathburn.
Despite their struggles, Lotief said the young pitchers are right where they need to be.
“That was a tough situation (for them),” Lotief said. “The development of a young pitcher has its ups, downs, trials and tribulations. It’s going to be no different with them. We put them in there because we believe in them and we are going to need them. It’s a long season.”