COLLEGE STATION -- The No. 4 Texas A&M Softball team suffered an 11-9 loss to the No. 18 Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns on Wednesday at the Aggie Softball Complex.
Louisiana jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the first two innings. The Ragin' Cajuns scored two runs in the opening frame on a home run from DJ Sanders, and added to the lead in the second on a two-out grand slam by Haley Hayden.
The Aggies responded in the bottom of the second with two runs as Kristen Cuyos delivered a two-out blast over the left field wall. Ashley Walters doubled to right and was plated by a single from Samantha Show.
ULL extended their lead to 11-2 with a five-run third inning. Their scoring began with a hit-by-pitch and a walk, both with the bases loaded. Hayden notched her 7th RBI of the game with a three-RBI double.
The Maroon and White then scored the game's final seven runs in the last three innings. In the fifth, the Aggies evaded the run-rule by scoring four runs. Riley Sartain sparked the offense with a solo home run, her 10th of the season. Walters then doubled to left field scoring Fortenberry, who pinch ran for Cuyos. Show singled down the left field line scoring Walters, and came around on an illegal pitch putting the deficit at 11-6.
The Aggies inched closer in the sixth as Alderink tripled to lead off the frame and scored on a wild pitch.
Trailing by four heading into their final at bat, the Aggies made things interesting, scoring a pair and bringing the tying run to the plate. Show completed her 4-for-4 day at the plate with a single to right and moved to second on an Erica Russell bunt single. Following a Keeli Milligan sacrifice bunt, Alderink sent a shot through the left side scoring Show and Russell. Louisiana reliever Alex Stewart was able to close the door with a strikeout to end the game.
Show was saddled with the loss after giving up six runs on five hits and fanning two in 1.2 innings of work. Lexi Smith threw one inning in relief allowing five runs on three hits with two walks.
Payton McBride came on in the third and worked the remainder of the game. McBride kept the Ragin' Cajuns off the board, striking out four in 4.1 innings of work. The freshman only allowed one base runner of the 14 batters she faced.
The Aggies return to action on Friday as they host No. 22 Georgia in a three-game series. First pitch from the Aggie Softball Complex is set for 3:30 p.m. on Friday and can be seen on the SEC Network+. The game can be accessed through WatchESPN and the ESPN app and can be heard locally on Willy 1550 AM.
To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to 12thMan.com or follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.
Texas A&M Quotes Head Coach Jo Evans
On the fight from the team... "I thought our kids fought really hard. The performance by Payton McBride was terrific. When we got down so bad early on my message was we were going to fight as hard as we could fight. There was no way I wanted to leave here in a five-inning game because we didn't put up a fight. I am proud of our kids for that. I'm not happy about losing this game by any means. It got away from us early but we can leave here feeling good about who we are as a ball club and what we are made of. Any coach would want to coach a team like that."
On Payton McBride's performance... "She gave us four perfect innings. She went out there and was crafty. She handled herself great and showed maturity on the mound. We needed a huge stop right there and Payton was the one to do it. She grew up a lot tonight. She knows what she is capable of doing and she went out and did just that."