CAA

UNCW Concludes NCAA Regional With Heartbreaking Loss To Louisiana

UNCW Concludes NCAA Regional With Heartbreaking Loss To Louisiana

UNCW is eliminated from postseason play and ends the season 32-15 after making its NCAA Tournament debut.

May 23, 2022 by FloSoftball Staff
UNCW Concludes NCAA Regional With Heartbreaking Loss To Louisiana

Taylor Roman hit a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift Louisiana to a 3-1 victory over UNCW Saturday evening at McWhorter Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina.

Louisiana improves to 46-12 and turns around to face Auburn in an elimination game tonight. UNCW is eliminated from postseason play and ends the season 32-15 after making its NCAA Tournament debut following the program’s first-ever Colonial Athletic Association championship.

Kandra Lamb and Kara Hammock were brilliant in the circle of a classic pitcher’s duel despite neither factoring into the decision. Lamb completed 6.0 innings of perfect softball, ultimately allowing just one earned run on two hits while striking out 11 in 8.0 innings of work. Hammock pitched a career-high 10.0 innings, throwing 148 total pitches, and matched a career-best with 10 strikeouts, allowing just one earned run. 

Down to their final three outs, the Seahawks did what they do best, create havoc to scratch across a run in the top of the seventh.

Tayler Vitola scored on a delayed steal from Taylor Smith that drew a throw to second from the catcher, allowing Vitola to slide in safe at the plate. Lauryn Richardson led off the inning with a walk, getting a pinch-hit opportunity before Vitola re-entered to run at first base. Janel Gamache broke up the no-hitter during the following at-bat putting runners on first and second with no outs. Vitola advanced to third on a Mackenzie Amodeo fielder’s choice before tying the game at one. 

Louisiana put its first two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, but Hammock stymied the Ragin’ Cajuns’ threat. Hammock induced back-to-back pop outs before striking out Roman to force extras. 

Louisiana threatened again in the eighth, loading the bases with one out, but Hammock was up to the task as she had been all day. The Ragin’s Cajuns had three singles in the inning before Hammock got back-to-back balls in the air to move to the ninth.  

Finally, in the bottom of the 11th, Louisiana got a timely hit that evaded the Ragin’ Cajuns prior to the walk-off. With one on and two outs, Roman took a 1-0 pitch high over the left-field wall, giving Louisiana a 3-1 victory.

Louisiana opened the scoring by scratching across a run in the bottom of the fourth. Melissa Mayeux ripped a one-out triple into the left-center gap before Karley Heath reached on a swinging bunt to set up runners on first and third. Heath stole second, but Hammock struck out Samantha Graeter for the second out of the inning. During the ensuing at-bat, Mayeux scored on a wild pitch to give Louisiana a 1-0 lead before Hammock proceeded to strike out Maddie Hayden two pitches later. 

Mayeux, the Sun Belt Player of the Year, paced the Ragin’ Cajuns at the plate, reaching base on four of her five plate appearances. She went 3-for-4 with a walk, coming up a home run shy of the cycle.

Camryn Dean picked up the Seahawks’ second base hit with a leadoff single in the top of the ninth, going 1-for-2 for the game.