www.RaginCajuns.com - The 17th ranked Ragin Cajuns saw their large lead in the Sun Belt standings shrink as they dropped two extra inning games to Florida Atlantic in south Florida on Saturday night.
The Cajuns (38-8, 13-4) dropped game one in ten innings, 1-0, before falling to the Owls (30-22, 14-7) in eight innings in game two by a score of 4-2.
GAME ONE - Louisiana 0, Florida Atlantic 1 (10 inn.)
The Cajuns played their second extra inning game of season and their second 10-inning affair, however this time they found themselves on the losing end of a 1-0 game as Florida Atlantic snapped the Cajunsâ€™ 10-game winning streak.
Ashley Brignac (23-4) went 9.1 innings for the Cajuns, giving up just three hits and one unearned run with three walks and five strikeouts.
Brignac and Rose Gressley (16-11) dueled through seven scoreless innings, with Florida Atlantic mustering just two hits and the Cajuns just one as the two sides headed into the extra frames.
The scoreless battle lasted through the eighth as both clubs went down in order in the first inning of free softball.
The Cajuns would go down in order in their half of the ninth, however the Owls managed a lead-off single. After a wild pitch moved the runner to second, a sacrifice bunt put her on third with one out. Brignac got the important second out via a strikeout, then the next batter grounded out to Nerissa Myers at shortstop and the game moved to the tenth inning.
With Christi Orgeron placed on second base in the tenth via the international tie-breaker rule, the Cajuns were unable to produce the gameâ€™s first run. With Cari Curfman placed on second in the bottom of the tenth for the Owls, she moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a ground ball to third base.
GAME TWO - Louisiana 2, Florida Atlantic 4 (8 inn.)
The Cajuns played their second straight extra-inning game, falling to the Owls 4-2 in eight innings.
Christina Hamilton (8-2) went the distance for the Cajuns, giving up four runs, three earned, in 7.1 innings with seven hits, three walks and nine strikeouts.
Orgeron and Paige Cormier each had two hits for the Cajuns who had six as a team.
The early stages of game two were much of the same as Hamilton and Taylor Fawbush (14-10) battled through three scoreless innings before the Cajuns broke through in the top half of the fourth.
Myers, a game after seeing her streak of 21 straight reaching base snapped, drew a walk to lead off the inning. After the next two Cajuns were retired, Cormier delivered a two-run home run on an 0-2 pitch over the left field fence. Cormierâ€™s third home run of the season gave UL a 2-0 lead.
They carried that lead into the bottom of the fifth, when Florida Atlantic plated two runs of their own to tie things up at 2-2. A pair of singles followed by an error loaded the bases with no one down. A sacrifice fly by Kerri Croney got the Owls their first run while a fielderâ€™s choice by Heather Barnes plated the tying run.
With the bases still loaded and one down, the Owls seemed to have their second sacrifice fly of the inning, however, Brianna Cherry tracked down the fly ball then fired a strike to Sarah Draheim at the plate to retire Hailey Broyles and end the threat with the game still tied at 2-2.
For the next two innings, Hamilton and Fawbush threw scoreless softball and the two sides entered their second straight extra inning game.
Orgeron singled in the Cajuns eighth but was stranded at second and the Owls used a two-run home run from Carly Speerin in the bottom of the eighth to give the Owls the 4-2 win.
The Cajuns and Owls will conclude their series with a single game on Sunday, beginning at 12:00 p.m. CT.
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