By Brooke Ortale | UTAMavs.com
LAFAYETTE, La. - Two seventh-inning comebacks fell short for UTA softball at No. 18 Louisiana in Lafayette, La. on Saturday.
"Louisiana is one of the toughest places to play on the road," UTA coach Kristie Fox said. "Our team handled the adversity well and competed hard."
The Mavericks dropped a heartbreaker in Game 1, 6-5, via a walk-off home run by Louisiana. In Game 2, the Mavericks attempted to mount a late comeback but dropped the decision, 6-2.
With the losses the Mavericks move 15-12 overall and 2-3 in Sun Belt play, while the Ragin' Cajuns improved to 19-5 and 2-0 in the Sun Belt.
The Mavericks turned two double plays on defense, giving them 19 on the season, tying No. 4 Auburn for the most in Division I.
UTA and Louisiana wrap up the series tomorrow with a game at 1 p.m. at Lamson Park in Lafayette, La.
"We were in both games and a lot of players have stepped up in different situations when we had opportunities," Fox said. "I hope they continue and gain confidence."
Game 1: Louisiana 6, UTA 5
The Mavericks wasted no time getting to work with Sandra Mendoza drilling the first pitch of the game to left for a leadoff single. Krista Rude followed up with a beautiful bunt base hit. With two outs, Reagan Wright ripped a double down the right field line to score Mendoza and Rude.
The Cajuns got a run in the bottom of the first on a RBI single by the Sun Belt's Preseason Player of the Year Aleah Craighton.
A couple of defensive miscues helped UTA plate a fourth run in the third before the Cajuns took the lead with a run in the third and three in fourth.
Trailing by one in the seventh, Aileen Garcia came on to pinch hit and drilled a no doubter into the grand stands behind left field to tie the ball game up at five.
In the bottom of the seventh, Craighton hit a walk-off run to give No. 18 Louisiana the 6-5 win.
Mendoza and Wright recorded multiple hit games with Mendoza going 2-for-4 with a run and Wright going 2-for-3 with two RBI and two doubles.
Kacey Everett, Rude, Walton and Garcia each tallied a hit for UTA.
Game 2: Louisiana 6, UTA 2
Both teams were held in check for the first two innings, before Louisiana's Daniella Chavez hit a three-run shot to give the Cajuns the lead.
The Mavericks posed a threat in the seventh, loading the bases with one out, pushing across one run to pull within four before the Cajuns Kassidy Zeringue made a nice defensive play at second on a hard hit ball to end the game.
Mendoza had her second multiple-hit game of the day with a 2-for-3 performance, driving in both UTA runs. Walton delivered with the other UTA hit, while Melanie Mendoza and Garcia scored the two Maverick runs.
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