TYLER, Texas – The Louisiana College softball team's eight consecutive visit to the NCAA Tournament got off to a rocky start Friday morning as the injury-hampered Lady Cats fell 9-2 to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 9-2 in the double elimination tournament. The Lady Cats face elimination later today when they play host team Texas-Tyler at 6:30 p.m.
LC was forced to play without normal starting catcher Megan Pearson (Frierson, La./North DeSoto HS), who has been sidelined with a back injury, and was short 2-of-5 pitchers as both Jordan Waldroup (Calhoun, La./West Ouachita HS) and Tori Davis (West Monroe, La./West Monroe HS) have ailing shoulders.
The Lady Cats (28-14) fell behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (29-13) early after the Athenas put up a run in the first inning following a Harmony Palmer leadoff double.
LC would tie the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the second when junior right fielder Amanda Martin (Prairieville, La./St. Amant HS) drove in junior first baseman Emily Douglas (Gonzales, La./St. Amant HS), who had reached on a walk.
The Athenas, however, would score the next eight runs of the game – one run in the third, one in the fourth and three apiece in the fifth and seventh innings – to pull away.
Louisiana College added a run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI from sophomore center fielder Chelsea Allen (Houma, La./Vandebilt Catholic) that scored pinch runner Jessica Taylor (Deville, La./Buckeye HS).
Sophomore second baseman Stephanie Jaeger (Haugton, La./Haughton HS) went 3-for-3 to lead LC at the plate. Martin and freshman Courtney Ivey (Sieper, La./Oak Hill HS), playing in place of Pearson at catcher, each went 1-for-3.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was led by shortstop Emily Lopez, who went 2-for-2 with a homerun, a double and four RBI, and Rebecca Ciszewski, who went 1-for-4 with a three-run homerun.
Leslie Eastham (Baton Rouge, La./Woodlawn HS) took the loss in the circle after pitching the first 4 1/3 innings and surrendering five earned runs while striking out one.
Athenas freshman pitcher Hayley Schultz got the win after striking out two and allowing six hits in a complete-game effort.
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