CLINTON – Lightning apparently stole the Lady Bengals’ thunder Friday night.
The Louisiana State University at Eunice softball team, seeded third, gave up a two-run lead after their first-round National Junior College Athletic Association Region 23 playoff game against number-six seed Hinds Community College was interrupted by foul weather, ultimately leading to a 4-3 loss after two extra innings.
The loss sent the Lady Bengals tumbling down into the loser’s bracket, where they prepared to fight their way back Saturday.
LSUE jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but a sudden lightning storm forced a game delay of about one hour.
The delay seemed to give the Lady Eagles enough time to recover their groove and get back in the game.
Hinds picked up three runs after the storm passed and held the Lady Bengals scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning, when LSUE was able to score a tying run and force the extra innings.
After a scoreless eighth inning, the Lady Eagles picked up one run in the top of the ninth, and held LSUE scoreless in the second half for the win, earning the right to play Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, the number-two seed, later that evening.
“I was pleased with the way our team did not give up and tied in the bottom of the seventh,” Lady Bengal Head Coach Brian DeWitt said afterwards.
“We had chances to win, but we couldn’t capitalize,” he added.
Lady Eagle pitcher Brandi Westerfield earned the win, giving up three runs, two earned, off of eight hits and two walks, while striking out two batters in the nine-inning game.
Starting pitcher Hannah Latiolais took the loss for LSUE, giving up three runs, two earned, off of five hits and a walk. Latiolais struck out one batter in her five innings on the mound.
Elizabeth Kaiser went 2-for-4 in Friday’s competition, recording a double and two RBI.
Jessica Cooper went 2-for-5 with two runs and two doubles.
Lindsey Babin went 3-for-4, batting one double.