The Appalachian State Mountaineers and the No. 11 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns went six scoreless innings before finally breaking the ice Friday night. In the seventh, the Mountaineers were unable to match Louisiana and fell by a score of 3-1 in game one of the weekend series.
Two of the Sun Belt's top pitchers went head to head with each defense pulling their weight until the end.
Kenzie Longanecker suffered the loss in the circle bringing her record to 14-4 with a 2.08 ERA. Through six innings, Longanecker gave up no runs and allowed only 5 hits and four walks.
Baylee Morton caught two runners stealing second as well as contributing two hits and the lone RBI for the Mountaineers.
The Apps' defense did not allow a runner to reach second base until the fourth inning and did not allow anyone further until the final inning. The Caylie Kifer and Sidney Russell dynamic duo in the middle of the diamond turned two double plays throughout the night and contributed to over half of the Mountaineers' outs on the night.
With back-and-forth defense dictating the night, the offense didn't kick in until the seventh inning. Four singles by Louisiana and a Mountaineer error allowed for two runs to score and break the scoreless theme of the night. A walk would bring home the final score for the Ragin' Cajuns.
Mary Pierce Barnes lead off the rally inning with a single to get on base and moved her way to second on a Louisiana error. Morton would drive her home on a single through the left side but would prove to be the final push for the Mountaineers in game one.
"What a great game for our program," head coach Shelly Hoerner said. "I loved how we competed all game long. When you play a top team in the country, you have to be sharp at all times and execute when given the opportunities. Tomorrow is a new day to play the game we love."
First pitch for game two is scheduled for 12 p.m. on Saturday. The option for a doubleheader on Saturday due to the Sunday weather forecast will be discussed before the start of game two.